The relationship between prolactin (PRL), leptin, nitric oxide (NO), and cytokines in patients with hyperprolactinemia

Balci H., Akgun-Dar K., Gazioglu N., Kapucu A., Bolayirli M., Oz B.

PITUITARY, vol.12, pp.170-176, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11102-008-0140-4
  • Journal Name: PITUITARY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.170-176
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Leptin is a key mediator in the maintenance of neuroendocrine homeostasis. The aim of this study was to determine the changes in serum leptin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-6 (IL-6), nitric oxide (NO) levels in patients with hyperprolactinemia. The study consists of 16 consecutive patients with high prolactin (PRL) levels (group I) and a control group of 11 normoprolactinemic patients (group II). Pituitary tumor tissues of patients in groups I and II were analyzed for immunohistochemical (IHC) expression of prolactin and leptin. Group I has significantly higher levels of leptin than group II (P < 0.001). There is a strong correlation between PRL and leptin concentrations in group I. However, there were no statistically significant differences for NO, TNF-alpha, IL-6 between the two groups. IHC staining showed that there was strong immunoreactivity for leptin protein in PRL-secreting pituitary adenomas. Double immunostaining of adenoma tissues with PRL and leptin showed that the adenoma cells expressed both. These findings together are suggestive that leptin co-secretion from a prolactinoma may be the cause of increased serum leptin concentration, independently from the peripheral action of prolactin.