Glycoconjugate Journal

, Volume 32, Issue 8, pp 635–641 | Cite as

Urine oligosaccharide pattern in patients with hyperprolactinaemia

  • Bertil Ekman
  • Jeanette Wahlberg
  • Eva Landberg
Original Article


Free milk-type oligosaccharides are produced during pregnancy and lactation and may have an impact on several cells in the immune system. Our aim was to investigate if patients with isolated hyperprolactinaemia, not related to pregnancy, also have increased synthesis and urinary excretion of milk-type oligosaccharides and to compare the excretion pattern with that found during pregnancy. Urine samples were collected as morning sample from 18 patients with hyperprolactinaemia, 13 healthy controls with normal prolactin levels and four pregnant women. After purification, lactose and free oligosaccharides were analysed and quantified by high-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection. The identity of peaks was confirmed by exoglycosidase treatment and comparison with oligosaccharide standards. Prolactin was measured in serum collected between 09 and 11 a.m. by a standardized immunochemical method. Patients with hyperprolactinaemia had higher urinary excretion of lactose than normoprolactinemic controls and urinary lactose correlated positively to prolactin levels (r = 0.51, p < 0.05). Increased levels of the fucosylated oligosaccharides 2-fucosyl lactose and lacto-di-fucotetraose were found in urine from three and two patients, respectively. The acidic oligosaccharide 3-sialyl lactose was found in high amount in urine from two patients with prolactin of >10,000 mU/l. However, pregnant women in their third trimester had the highest concentration of all these oligosaccharides and excretion increased during pregnancy. This study is first to show that both lactose and certain fucosylated and sialylated milk-type oligosaccharides are increased in some patients with hyperprolactinaemia. It remains to elucidate the functional importance of these findings.


Prolactin Prolactinoma Urine Oligosaccharides Lactose 



The authors thank Emmilie Jonsson for technical assistance. This study was funded by FORSS (Medical Research Council of Southeast Sweden, no. 4065) and the Faculty of Health and Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden.

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by the local Ethics Committee at Linköping University Hospital and performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. The patients were informed about the purpose and procedure of the study and gave their written informed consent.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology and Department of Medical and Health SciencesLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  2. 2.Department of Endocrinology and Department of Medical and Health Sciences and Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Chemistry and Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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