PDB rendering based on 1n9d.
Prolactin (PRL), also known as luteotropic hormone or luteotropin, is a protein that in humans is best known for its role in enabling female mammals to produce milk; however, it is influential over a large number of functions with over 300 separate actions of PRL having been reported in various vertebrates. Prolactin is secreted from the pituitary gland in response to eating, mating, estrogen treatment, ovulation, and nursing. Prolactin is secreted in a pulsatile fashion in between these events. Prolactin also plays an essential role in metabolism, regulation of the immune system, and pancreatic development.
Discovered in non-human animals around 1930 by Oscar Riddle  at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, New York, and confirmed in humans in 1970 by Henry Friesen  prolactin is a peptide hormone, encoded by the PRL gene. 
Although often associated with human milk production, prolactin plays a wide range of other roles in both humans and other vertebrates. (For example, in fish—the oldest known vertebrates—an important function is probably related to control of water and salt balance.) Prolactin also acts in a cytokine-like manner and as an important regulator of the immune system. It has important cell cycle related functions as a growth-, differentiating- and anti-apoptotic factor. As a growth factor, binding to cytokine like receptors, it also has profound influence on hematopoiesis, angiogenesis and is involved in the regulation of blood clotting through several pathways. The hormone acts in endocrine, autocrine, and paracrine manner through the prolactin receptor and a large number of cytokine receptors.
Pituitary prolactin secretion is regulated by endocrine neurons in the hypothalamus, the most important ones being the neurosecretory tuberoinfundibulum (TIDA) neurons of the arcuate nucleus, which secrete dopamine (aka Prolactin Inhibitory Hormone) to act on the D2 receptors of lactotrophs, causing inhibition of prolactin secretion. Thyrotropin-releasing factor (thyrotropin-releasing hormone) has a stimulatory effect on prolactin release, however Prl is the only adenohypophyseal hormone whose principal control is inhibitory.
Several variants and forms are known per species. Many fish have variants prolactin A and prolactin B. Most vertebrates including humans also have the closely related somatolactin. In humans, three smaller (4, 16, and 22 kDa) and several larger (so called big and big-big) variants exist.[not verified in body]
- 1 Effects
- 2 Production and regulation
- 3 Variance in levels
- 4 Structure and isoforms
- 5 Prolactin receptor
- 6 Diagnostic use
- 7 Units and unit conversions
- 8 Reference ranges
- 9 Conditions associated with elevated levels
- 10 Conditions associated with decreased levels
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Prolactin has a wide range of effects. It stimulates the mammary glands to produce milk (lactation): increased serum concentrations of prolactin during pregnancy cause enlargement of the mammary glands of the breasts and prepare for the production of milk. Milk production normally starts when the levels of progesterone fall by the end of pregnancy and a suckling stimulus is present. Sometimes, newborn babies (males as well as females) secrete a milky substance from their nipples known as witch's milk. This is in part caused by maternal prolactin and other hormones. Prolactin also has been found to play an important role in maternal behavior.
Prolactin provides the body with sexual gratification after sexual acts: The hormone counteracts the effect of dopamine, which is responsible for sexual arousal. This is thought to cause the sexual refractory period. The amount of prolactin can be an indicator for the amount of sexual satisfaction and relaxation. Unusually high amounts are suspected to be responsible for impotence and loss of libido (see hyperprolactinemia symptoms).
Highly elevated levels of prolactin decrease the levels of sex hormones — estrogen in women and testosterone in men. The effects of mildly elevated levels of prolactin are much more variable, in women both substantial increase or decrease of estrogen levels may result.
Prolactin is sometimes classified as a gonadotropin although in humans it has only a weak luteotropic effect while the effect of suppressing classical gonadotropic hormones is more important. Prolactin within the normal reference ranges can act as a weak gonadotropin but at the same time suppresses GnRH secretion. The exact mechanism by which it inhibits GnRH is poorly understood although expression of prolactin receptors (PRL-R) have been demonstrated in rat's hypothalmus, the same has not been observed in GnRH neurons. Physiologic levels of prolactin in males enhance luteinizing hormone-receptors in Leydig cells, resulting in testosterone secretion, which leads to spermatogenesis.
Prolactin also stimulates proliferation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells. These cells differentiate into oligodendrocytes, the cells responsible for the formation of myelin coatings on axons in the central nervous system.
Prolactin also has a number of other effects including contributing to pulmonary surfactant synthesis of the fetal lungs at the end of the pregnancy and immune tolerance of the fetus by the maternal organism during pregnancy.
Prolactin delays hair regrowth in mice.
Production and regulation
Pituitary PRL is controlled by the Pit-1 transcription factor and ultimately dopamine, extrapituitary PRL is controlled by a superdistal promoter and apparently unaffected by dopamine. The thyrotropin-releasing hormone and the vasoactive intestinal peptide stimulate the secretion of prolactin in experimental setting, however their physiological influence is unclear. The main stimulus for prolactin secretion is suckling, the effect of which is neuronally mediated.
In decidual cells and in lymphocytes the distal promoter and thus prolactin expression is stimulated by cAMP. Responsivness to cAMP is mediated by an imperfect cAMP–responsive element and two CAAT/enhancer binding proteins (C/EBP). Progesterone has been observed to upregulate prolactin synthesis in the endometrium but decreases it in myometrium and breast glandular tissue. However breast and other tissues may also express the Pit-1 promoter in addition to the distal promoter.
Extrapituitary production of prolactin is thought to be special to humans and primates and may serve mostly tissue specific paracrine and autocrine purposes. It has been hypothesized that in other vertebrates such as mice a similar tissue specific effect is achieved by a large family of prolactin like proteins controlled by at least 26 paralogous PRL genes not present in primates.
Variance in levels
During pregnancy, high circulating concentrations of estrogen and progesterone increase prolactin levels by 10- to 20-fold. However, at the same time, estrogen, as well as progesterone, inhibit the stimulatory effects of prolactin on milk production. It is the abrupt drop of estrogen and progesterone levels following delivery that allows prolactin — which temporarily remains high — to induce lactation.[verification needed]
After childbirth, prolactin levels fall as the internal stimulus for them is removed. Sucking by the baby on the nipple then promotes further prolactin release, maintaining the ability to lactate. The sucking activates mechanoreceptors in and around the nipple. These signals are carried by nerve fibers through the spinal cord to the hypothalamus, where changes in the electrical activity of neurons that regulate the pituitary gland cause increased prolactin secretion. The suckling stimulus also triggers the release of oxytocin from the posterior pituitary gland, which triggers milk let-down: Prolactin controls milk production (lactogenesis) but not the milk-ejection reflex; the rise in prolactin fills the breast with milk in preparation for the next feed.
It has also been found that compared to un-mated males, fathers and expectant fathers have increased prolactin concentrations.
High prolactin levels can also contribute to mental health issues.
Prolactin levels peak during REM sleep, and in the early morning. Levels can rise after exercise, high-protein meals, sexual intercourse, breast examination, minor surgical procedures, following epileptic seizures or (occasionally) due to physical or emotional stress, In a study on female volunteers under hypnosis, prolactin surges resulted from the evocation, with rage, of humiliating experiences, but not from the fantasy of nursing.
Hypersecretion of prolactin is more common than hyposecretion. Hyperprolactinemia is the most frequent abnormality of the anterior pituitary tumors, termed prolactinomas. Prolactinomas may disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis as prolactin tends to suppress the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus and in turn decreases the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) from the anterior pituitary, therefore disrupting the ovulatory cycle in females. Such hormonal changes may manifest as amenorrhea and infertility in females as well as impotence in males. Inappropriate lactation (galactorrhoea) is another important clinical sign of prolactinomas, which may be treated with the administration of bromocriptine, which is an agonist of the dopamine D2 receptor.
Structure and isoforms
The structure of prolactin is similar to that of growth hormone and placental lactogen. The molecule is folded due to the activity of three disulfide bonds. Significant heterogeneity of the molecule has been described, thus bioassays and immunoassays can give different results due to differing glycosylation, phosphorylation, sulfation, as well as degradation. The non-glycosylated form of prolactin is the dominant form of prolactin that is secreted by the pituitary gland.
There are mainly three different forms of prolactin in regard to size:
- Little prolactin is the predominant form. It has a molecular weight of appxoximately 22-kDa. It is a single-chain polypeptide of 198 amino acids, and is apparently the result of removal of some amino acids.
- Big prolactin of approximately 48 kDa. It may be the product of interaction of several prolactin molecules. It appears to have little, if any, biological activity.
- Big big prolactin of approximately 150 kDa. It appears to have a low biological activity.
The levels of larger ones are somewhat higher during the early postpartum period.
Pit-1 is a transcription factor that binds to the prolactin gene at several sites to allow for the production of prolactin in the pituitary gland. A key regulator of prolactin production is estrogens that enhance growth of prolactin-producing cells and stimulate prolactin production directly, as well as suppressing dopamine.
Human prolactin receptors are insensitive to mouse prolactin.
Prolactin receptors are present in the mamillary glands, ovaries, pituitary glands, heart, lung, thymus, spleen, liver, pancreas, kidney, adrenal gland, uterus, skeletal muscle, skin, and areas of the central nervous system. When prolactin binds to the receptor, it causes it to dimerize with another prolactin receptor. This results in the activation of Janus kinase 2, a tyrosine kinase that initiates the JAK-STAT pathway. The activation of the prolactin receptor also results in the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases and Src kinase.
Prolactin levels may be checked as part of a sex hormone workup, as elevated prolactin secretion can suppress the secretion of FSH and GnRH, leading to hypogonadism, and sometimes causing erectile dysfunction in men.
Units and unit conversions
The serum concentration of prolactin can be given in mass concentration (µg/L or ng/mL), molar concentration (nmol/L or pmol/L) or in international units (typically mIU/L). The current IU is calibrated against the third International Standard for Prolactin, IS 84/500. Reference ampoules of IS 84/500 contain 2.5 µg of lyophilized human prolactin, and have been assigned an activity of .053 International Units of prolactin. Measurements that are calibrated against the current international standard can be converted into mass units using this ratio of grams to IUs; prolactin concentrations expressed in mIU/L can be converted to µg/L by dividing by 21.2. Previous standards use other ratios.
The first International Reference Preparation (or IRP) of human Prolactin for Immunoassay was established in 1978 (75/504 1st IRP for human Prolactin) at a time when purified human prolactin was in short supply. Previous standards relied on prolactin from animal sources. Purified human prolactin was scarce, heterogeneous, unstable, and difficult to characterize. A preparation labelled 81/541 was distributed by the WHO Expert Committee on Biological Standardization without official status and given the assigned value of 50 mIU/ampoule based on an earlier collaborative study. It was determined that this preparation behaved anomalously in certain immunoassays and was not suitable as an IS. However, in the absence of an alternative, it was used. Three different human pituitary extracts containing prolactin were subsequently obtained as candidates for an IS. These were distributed into ampoules coded 83/562, 83/573, and 84/500. On the basis of collaborative studies involving 20 different laboratories, it was concluded that there was little difference between these three preparations. 83/562 appeared to be the most stable. This preparation was largely free of dimers and polymers of prolactin. On the basis of these investigations 83/562 was established as the Second IS for human Prolactin. Once stocks of these ampoules were depleted, 84/500 was established as the Third IS for human Prolactin.
General guidelines for diagnosing prolactin excess (hyperprolactinemia) define the upper threshold of normal prolactin at 25 µg/L for women, and 20 µg/L for men. Similarly, guidelines for diagnosing prolactin deficiency (hypoprolactinemia) are defined as prolactin levels below 3 µg/L in women, and 5 µg/L in men. However, different assays and methods for measuring prolactin are employed by different laboratories, and as such the serum reference range for prolactin is often determined by the laboratory performing the measurement. Furthermore, prolactin levels also vary with, for example, age, sex, menstrual cycle stage, and pregnancy. The circumstances surrounding a given prolactin measurement (assay, patient condition, etc.) must therefore be considered before the measurement can be accurately interpreted.
The following chart illustrates the variations seen in normal prolactin measurements across different populations. Prolactin values were obtained from specific control groups of varying sizes using the IMMULITE assay.
|women, follicular phase (n = 803)||
|women, luteal phase (n = 699)||
|women, mid-cycle (n = 53)||
|women, whole cycle (n = 1555)||
|women, pregnant, 1st trimester (n = 39)||
|women, pregnant, 2nd trimester (n = 52)||
|women, pregnant, 3rd trimester (n = 54)||
|Men, 21–30 (n = 50)||
|Men, 31–40 (n = 50)||
|Men, 41–50 (n = 50)||
|Men, 51–60 (n = 50)||
|Men, 61–70 (n = 50)||
The following table illustrates variability in reference ranges of serum prolactin between some commonly used assay methods (as of 2008), using a control group of healthy health care professionals (53 males, age 20–64 years, median 28 years; 97 females, age 19–59 years, median 29 years) in Essex, England:
An example usage of table above is, if using the Centaur assay to estimate prolactin values in µg/L for females, the mean is 7.92 µg/L, and the reference range is 3.35–16.4 µg/L.
Conditions associated with elevated levels
Hyperprolactinaemia, or excess serum prolactin, is associated with hypoestrogenism, anovulatory infertility, oligomenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, unexpected lactation, and loss of libido in women, and erectile dysfunction and loss of libido in men.
Conditions associated with decreased levels
Hypoprolactinemia, or serum prolactin deficiency, is associated with ovarian dysfunction in women, and arteriogenic erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, oligozoospermia, asthenospermia, hypofunction of seminal vesicles, and hypoandrogenism in men. In one study, normal sperm characteristics were restored when prolactin levels were brought up to normal values in hypoprolactinemic men.
- Epileptic seizure
- Male lactation
- Prolactin receptor
- Prolactin-releasing hormone
- Bole-Feysot C, Goffin V, Edery M, Binart N, Kelly PA (June 1998). "Prolactin (PRL) and its receptor: actions, signal transduction pathways and phenotypes observed in PRL receptor knockout mice". Endocr. Rev. 19 (3): 225–68. doi:10.1210/er.19.3.225. PMID 9626554.
- Bates, R, Riddle, O (November 1935). Journal of Pharmacolgy and Experimental Therapeutics 55 (3): 365–371. Missing or empty
- Friesen H, Guyda, Hardy J (December 1970). "Biosynthesis of Human Growth Hormone and Prolactin". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 31 (6): 611–624. doi:10.1210/jcem-31-6-611. PMID 5483096.
- Evans AM, Petersen JW, Sekhon GS, DeMars R (May 1989). "Mapping of prolactin and tumor necrosis factor-beta genes on human chromosome 6p using lymphoblastoid cell deletion mutants". Somat. Cell Mol. Genet. 15 (3): 203–13. doi:10.1007/BF01534871. PMID 2567059.
- Lucas BK, Ormandy CJ, Binart N, Bridges RS, Kelly PA (1998). "Null mutation of the prolactin receptor gene produces a defect in maternal behavior". Endocrinology 139 (10): 4102–7. doi:10.1210/endo.139.10.6243. PMID 9751488.
- Prolactinoma—Mayo Clinic
- Hoehn K, Marieb EN (2007). Human Anatomy & Physiology. San Francisco: Pearson Benjamin Cummings. p. 605. ISBN 0-8053-5909-5.
- Gonadotropins at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
- Grattan DR, Jasoni CL, Liu X, Anderson GM, Herbison AE (September 2007). "Prolactin regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons to suppress luteinizing hormone secretion in mice". Endocrinology 148 (9): 4344–51. doi:10.1210/en.2007-0403. PMID 17569755.
- Hair WM, Gubbay O, Jabbour HN, Lincoln GA (July 2002). "Prolactin receptor expression in human testis and accessory tissues: localization and function". Mol. Hum. Reprod. 8 (7): 606–11. doi:10.1093/molehr/8.7.606. PMID 12087074.
- Gregg C, Shikar V, Larsen P, Mak G, Chojnacki A, Yong VW, Weiss S (February 2007). "White matter plasticity and enhanced remyelination in the maternal CNS". J. Neurosci. 27 (8): 1812–23. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4441-06.2007. PMID 17314279.
- Craven AJ, Nixon AJ, Ashby MG, Ormandy CJ, Blazek K, Wilkins RJ, Pearson AJ (November 2006). "Prolactin delays hair regrowth in mice". J. Endocrinol. 191 (2): 415–25. doi:10.1677/joe.1.06685. PMID 17088411.
- Shingo T, Gregg C, Enwere E, Fujikawa H, Hassam R, Geary C, Cross JC, Weiss S (January 2003). "Pregnancy-stimulated neurogenesis in the adult female forebrain mediated by prolactin". Science 299 (5603): 117–20. doi:10.1126/science.1076647. PMID 12511652.
- Larsen CM, Grattan DR (February 2012). "Prolactin, neurogenesis, and maternal behaviors". Brain Behav. Immun. 26 (2): 201–9. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2011.07.233. PMID 21820505.
- Ben-Jonathan N, Mershon JL, Allen DL, Steinmetz RW (December 1996). "Extrapituitary prolactin: distribution, regulation, functions, and clinical aspects". Endocr. Rev. 17 (6): 639–69. doi:10.1210/edrv-17-6-639. PMID 8969972.
- Gerlo S, Davis JR, Mager DL, Kooijman R (October 2006). "Prolactin in man: a tale of two promoters". BioEssays 28 (10): 1051–5. doi:10.1002/bies.20468. PMC 1891148. PMID 16998840.
- Norman AW, Henry HL, eds. (2014). "III. Structure, Synthesis, Secretion, and Target Cells of the Hypothalamic Releasing Hormones: E. Hypothalamic Control of Prolactin Secretion". Hormones. Academic Press. p. 66. ISBN 9780080919065.
- Zinger M, McFarland M, Ben-Jonathan N (February 2003). "Prolactin expression and secretion by human breast glandular and adipose tissue explants". J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 88 (2): 689–96. doi:10.1210/jc.2002-021255. PMID 12574200.
- Kulick R, Chaiseha Y, Kang S, Rozenboim I, El Halawani M (2005). "The relative importance of vasoactive intestinal peptide and peptide histidine isoleucine as physiological regulators of prolactin in the domestic turkey". Gen Comp Endocrinol 142 (3): 267–73. doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2004.12.024. PMID 15935152.
- Nelson, Randy F. (2011). An Introduction to Behavioral Endocrinology (Fourth ed.). Sunderland, Mass: Sinauer Associates Inc. p. 438. ISBN 0-87893-620-3.
- "Prolactin". MedLine plus. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
- Melmed S, Jameson JL (2005). "333 Disorders of the Anterior Pituitary and Hypothalamus". In Jameson JN, Kasper DL, Harrison TR, Braunwald E, Fauci AS, Hauser SL, Longo DL. Harrison's principles of internal medicine (16th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division. ISBN 0-07-140235-7.
- Mellers JD (August 2005). "The approach to patients with "non-epileptic seizures"". Postgrad Med J 81 (958): 498–504. doi:10.1136/pgmj.2004.029785. PMC 1743326. PMID 16085740.
- Sobrinho LG (2003). "Prolactin, psychological stress and environment in humans: adaptation and maladaptation". Pituitary 6 (1): 35–9. doi:10.1023/A:1026229810876. PMID 14674722.
- "Etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of secondary amenorrhea". Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- Sabharwal P, Glaser R, Lafuse W, Varma S, Liu Q, Arkins S, Kooijman R, Kutz L, Kelley KW, Malarkey WB (August 1992). "Prolactin synthesized and secreted by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells: an autocrine growth factor for lymphoproliferation". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 89 (16): 7713–6. doi:10.1073/pnas.89.16.7713. PMC 49781. PMID 1502189., in turn citing: Kiefer KA, Malarkey WB (January 1978). "Size heterogeneity of human prolactin in CSF and serum: experimental conditions that alter gel filtration patterns". J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 46 (1): 119–24. doi:10.1210/jcem-46-1-119. PMID 752015.
- Garnier PE, Aubert ML, Kaplan SL, Grumbach MM (December 1978). "Heterogeneity of pituitary and plasma prolactin in man: decreased affinity of "Big" prolactin in a radioreceptor assay and evidence for its secretion". J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 47 (6): 1273–81. doi:10.1210/jcem-47-6-1273. PMID 263349.
- Leite V, Cosby H, Sobrinho LG, Fresnoza MA, Santos MA, Friesen HG (October 1992). "Characterization of big, big prolactin in patients with hyperprolactinaemia". Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf) 37 (4): 365–72. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2265.1992.tb02340.x. PMID 1483294.
- Kamel MA, Neulen J, Sayed GH, Salem HT, Breckwoldt M (September 1993). "Heterogeneity of human prolactin levels in serum during the early postpartum period". Gynecol. Endocrinol. 7 (3): 173–7. doi:10.3109/09513599309152499. PMID 8291454.
- Utama FE, LeBaron MJ, Neilson LM, Sultan AS, Parlow AF, Wagner KU, Rui H (March 2006). "Human prolactin receptors are insensitive to mouse prolactin: implications for xenotransplant modeling of human breast cancer in mice". J. Endocrinol. 188 (3): 589–601. doi:10.1677/joe.1.06560. PMID 16522738.
- Mancini, T.; Casanueva, FF; Giustina, A (2008). "Hyperprolactinemia and Prolactinomas". Endocrinology & Metabolism Clinics of North America 37 (1): 67–99, viii. doi:10.1016/j.ecl.2007.10.013. PMID 18226731.
- Banerjee S, Paul P, Talib V (2004). "Serum prolactin in seizure disorders". Indian Pediatr 41 (8): 827–31. PMID 15347871.
- Schulster D, Gaines Das RE, Jeffcoate SL. (Apr 1989). "International Standards for human prolactin: calibration by international collaborative study.". J Endocrinol. 121 (1): 157–66. doi:10.1677/joe.0.1210157. PMID 2715755.
- "WHO Expert Committee on Biological Standardization" (PDF). Thirty-ninth Report, WHO Technical Report Series. World Health Organization. 1989. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
86.1520, WHO/BS documents: 86.1520 Add 1, 88.1596
- "WHO International Standard, Prolactin, Human. NIBSC code: 84/500, Instructions for use" (PDF). WHO International Standard, Prolactin, Human. NIBSC code: 84/500, Instructions for use. NIBSC / Health Protection Agency. 1989. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists (Dec 1992). "Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists position paper: standardization of selected polypeptide hormone measurements". Clin Biochem. 25 (6): 415–24. doi:10.1016/0009-9120(92)90030-V. PMID 1477965.
- Gaines Das RE, Cotes PM. (Jan 1979). "International Reference Preparation of human prolactin for immunoassay: definition of the International Unit, report of a collaborative study and comparison of estimates of human prolactin made in various laboratories". J Endocrinol. 80 (1): 157–68. doi:10.1677/joe.0.0800157. PMID 429949.
- "WHO Expert Committee on Biological Standardization" (PDF). Thirty-fifth Report, WHO Technical Report Series. World Health Organization. 1985. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- "WHO Expert Committee on Biological Standardization" (PDF). Thirty-seventh Report, WHO Technical Report Series. World Health Organization. 1987. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Bangham DR, Mussett MV, Stack-Dunne MP (1963). "The second International Standard for Prolactin". Bull World Health Organ. 29 (6): 721–8. PMC 2555104. PMID 14107744.
- Kauppila A, Martikainen H, Puistola U, Reinilä M, Rönnberg L (Mar 1988). "Hypoprolactinemia and ovarian function". Fertil Steril. 49 (3): 437–41. PMID 3342895.
- Schwärzler P, Untergasser G, Hermann M, Dirnhofer S, Abendstein B, Berger P (Oct 1997). "Prolactin gene expression and prolactin protein in premenopausal and postmenopausal human ovaries". Fertil Steril. 68 (4): 696–701. doi:10.1016/S0015-0282(97)00320-8. PMID 9341613.
- Corona G, Mannucci E, Jannini EA, Lotti F, Ricca V, Monami M, Boddi V, Bandini E, Balercia G, Forti G, Maggi M (May 2009). "Hypoprolactinemia: a new clinical syndrome in patients with sexual dysfunction". J Sex Med. 6 (5): 1457–66. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.01206.x. PMID 19210705.
- Gonzales GF, Velasquez G, Garcia-Hjarles M (1989). "Hypoprolactinemia as related to seminal quality and serum testosterone". Arch Androl. 23 (3): 259–65. doi:10.3109/01485018908986849. PMID 2619414.
- Ufearo CS, Orisakwe OE (September 1995). "Restoration of normal sperm characteristics in hypoprolactinemic infertile men treated with metoclopramide and exogenous human prolactin". Clin Pharmacol Ther. 58 (3): 354–9. doi:10.1016/0009-9236(95)90253-8. PMID 7554710.
- Table 2 in Beltran L, Fahie-Wilson MN, McKenna TJ, Kavanagh L, Smith TP (October 2008). "Serum total prolactin and monomeric prolactin reference intervals determined by precipitation with polyethylene glycol: evaluation and validation on common immunoassay platforms". Clin. Chem. 54 (10): 1673–81. doi:10.1373/clinchem.2008.105312. PMID 18719199.
- Prolaktin at medical.siemens.com—reference ranges as determined from the IMMULITE assay method
- The AIA essay values are also from Table 2 in Beltran 2008, like the other values, but it uses a different conversion factor of 27.0 mIU/L per µg/L, taken from the second international standard, IS 83/562).
- Melmed S, Kleinberg D 2008 Anterior pituitary. 1n: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Willams textbook of endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier; 185-261
- Pathophysiology of Endocrine System—Prolactin at colostate.edu
- MedlinePlus Encyclopedia Prolactin
- Prolactin - Lab Tests Online
- med/1098 at eMedicine—"Hyperprolactinemia"
- med/1914 at eMedicine—"Prolactin Deficiency"
-  - "Endocrine Society Guidelines"