Prolactin modulates peripheral androgen metabolism

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


Although hyperprolactinemia may be associated with hyperandrogenism, if hirsutism develops, it is usually a mild form. This study was designed to investigate whether prolactin (PRL) modulates 5α-reductase activity (5α-RA), because 5α-RA is known to be a major factor influencing the manifestation of androgenicity. Compared with normal women, euprolactinemic hirsute and both hyperprolactinemic hirsute and nonhirsute women had elevated levels of unbound testosterone (uT). Serum 3α-androstanediol glucuronide (3α-diol-G) was elevated only in patients who were hirsute, and serum 3α-diol-G/uT ratios were elevated in euprolactinemic hirsute patients and normal in hyperprolactinemic hirsute patients. Genital skin 5α-RA in vitro was elevated only in euprolactinemic hirsute women. The previously recognized positive correlation between 5α-RA and the severity of hirsutism was dissociated with hyperprolactinemia. Human PRL incubated in vitro with normal genital skin also inhibited 5α-RA. These data suggest that PRL modulates 5α-RA and peripheral androgen metabolism and that other factors may also be involved in the evolution of hirsutism in hyperprolactinemia.




Serafini, P., & Lobo, R. A. (1986). Prolactin modulates peripheral androgen metabolism. Fertility and Sterility, 45(1), 41–46.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free