The myometrium of postmenopausal women produces prolactin in response to human chorionic gonadotropin and α-subunit in vitro

E. A. Stewart, P. Jain, M. D. Penglase, A. J. Friedman, R. A. Nowak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine the effect of equimolar concentrations of hCG and dissociated α-subunit on PRL production by leiomyoma and myometrial tissue obtained from different hormonal states and to examine changes in PRL messenger RNA levels as PRL protein levels increased. Design: Explant cultures of leiomyomas and myometrium were established and cultured for 96 hours. Tissue was studied from normal cycling women, postmenopausal women, pregnant women, and women undergoing GnRH agonist (GnRH-a) therapy. Cultured medium was collected at 24, 48, and 96 hours and assayed for PRL. In selected experiments, tissue was processed at 0 and 96 hours to analyze messenger RNA (mRNA) levels. Results: Human chorionic gonadotropin and α-subunit stimulated PRL secretion in [1] explant cultures of leiomyoma and myometrium from premenopausal women, [2] cultures of tissue treated in vive with leuprolide acetate for both leiomyoma and myometrium, and [3] myometrium obtained from postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal myometrium was significantly more responsive to stimulation. Prolactin mRNA levels were documented to increase after hormone treatment in postmenopausal myometrium. Conclusion: Myometrium from postmenopausal women is very responsive to hCG and α-subunit. There is a difference in response between tissue obtained from menopausal women and that from women undergoing GnRH-a therapy to achieve a 'medical menopause' and reproductive age women. The level of endogenous gonadotropins as well as the steroid milieu may modulate myometrial PRL secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)972-976
Number of pages5
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995



  • Menopause
  • human chorionic gonadotropin
  • leiomyoma
  • myometrium
  • prolactin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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