Osmotic Inhibition of Prolactin Secretion in Rats

Janos Dohanics, M. Susan Smith, Ruth E. Blackburn, Joseph G. Verbalis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Chronic hyponatremia is known to cause inhibition of pituitary vasopressin (AVP) and oxytocin (OT) secretion in response to most physiological stimuli, as well as a marked inhibition of synthesis of these peptides. Because many studies have implicated neurohypophyseal peptides in the regulation of pituitary prolactin (PRL) secretion, we investigated the effects of chronic hyponatremia on basal and stimulus‐induced PRL secretion in rats. Hyponatremia was induced by subcutaneous infusion of 1‐deamino‐[8‐D‐arginine]‐vasopressin (dDAVP) (5ng/h) to rats fed a nutritionally balanced liquid diet, and plasma [Na+] was maintained ≤115 mmol/l for 10–12 days. After this period, hyponatremic rats and normonatremic controls fed the same diet without dDAVP were subjected to one of the following stimuli known to stimulate PRL release in rats: 3 min exposure to ether, hemorrhage (20 ml/kg), intravenous injection of 5‐hydroxytryptophane (5‐HTP, 10 mg/kg), or intravenous injection of estradiol (5 μg/kg). A baseline blood sample was collected before each stimulus, and 3–6 additional blood samples were collected at selected intervals after the stimulus. Baseline levels of plasma PRL were not different between normonatremic and hyponatremic rats. However, PRL responses induced by ether or estradiol, but not those induced by hemorrhage or 5‐HTP, were very significantly blunted in the chronically hyponatremic rats. Plasma AVP and OT responses were measured as an index of magnocellular secretion, but did not correlate with the PRL responses for any of the stimuli tested. Our results therefore demonstrate that ether‐ and estradiol‐induced PRL release can be osmotically inhibited, but the mechanisms underlying this inhibition appear to be relatively independent of effects on magnocellular AVP and OT secretion. This allows the possibility that either some parvocellular systems regulating PRL secretion are osmosensitive, or alternatively that other substances released from the neural lobe may selectively modulate pituitary PRL release in response to some, but not all, stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-298
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • PRF
  • oxytocin
  • prolactin
  • vasopressin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Osmotic Inhibition of Prolactin Secretion in Rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this