An osmoregulatory role for prolactin (PRL) in man has been postulated, and PRL secretion has been reported to be influenced by osmotic stimuli. Clinical observation, however, does not support this notion. The effects of water loading, hypertonic saline infusion and nicotine on serum PRL and on renal water metabolism were investigated in 6 normal subjects and in 8 patients with chronic hyperprolactinemia (four with and four without demonstrable pituitary tumors). None of the patients had thyroid, adrenal or vasopressin deficiency. Renal water handling in these patients was indistinguishable from normal. Likewise, serum PRL was not affected by the stimuli employed in either the normal subjects or the patients. No correlation between degree or duration of hyperprolactinemia and renal water metabolism was found. It is concluded that PRL is not an important osmoregulatory hormone in man.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism