Studies of the Role of Dopamine in the Control of Prolactin and Gonadotropin Secretion in Humans

  • Samuel S. C. Yen
Part of the Published Nobel Symposia book series (NOFS, volume 42)


The participation of the catechol aminergic system of the brain in the central regulation of gonadotropin (FSH and LH) and prolactin (PRL) release is now established in all mammalian soecies studied except in humans (39). That the tuberoinfundibuiar dopamine (DA) system functions as a hypothalamic PRL inhibitor by a direct action of the DA-receptor of the lactotrope, delivered by way of the hypophyseal portal system is unequivocally demonstrated (8,13,20,37,38, 53,54). By contrast, catecholamines which influence gonadotropin secretion appear to operate by way of a central site(s), affecting the peptidergic neuron that produces LRF (19,21,22,25,35,41,48,51). Through the use of immunohistochemistry, Fuxe and associate and Lofstrom et al. have demonstrated a morphological relationship which serves as a basis for the interaction between DA, norepinephrine (NE), and LRF nerve terminals in the median eminence of the rat (18,19,35). Recently, axo-axonic contact of LRF and DA terminals was demonstrated in close proximity to the portal vessels of the rat median eminence suggesting the synaptic influence of DA on the release of LRF into the portal system (1a, 40).


Luteinizing Hormone Median Eminence Ethinyl Estradiol Normal Woman Prolactin Secretion 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel S. C. Yen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Reproductive Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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