Evidence that an altered prolactin release is consequent to abnormal ovarian activity in polycystic ovary syndrome

Fertil Steril. 1995 Dec;64(6):1094-8. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(16)57966-7.


Objective: To investigate whether endogenous dopaminergic activity is impaired in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)-affected women and is normalized by medical ovariectomy.

Patients: Women with PCOS untreated (n = 23) and treated for 3 months with GnRH analogue (GnRH-a) administration (n = 10) and normal cycling young women (n = 23) as controls.

Interventions: Acute blockade of dopaminergic receptors by the IV administration of 5 mg of the dopaminergic receptor blocking agent sulpiride (sulpiride test) was performed 3 to 7 days after the initiation of spontaneous menses in cycling women or medroxyprogesterone acetate-induced menses in PCOS women. In PCOS women treated with GnRH-a administration (goserelin depot, 3.6 mg SC every 28 days), the sulpiride test was repeated 10 to 15 days after the third GnRH-a administration.

Main outcome measure: Basal PRL levels and PRL increase induced by sulpiride.

Results: Basal PRL levels and the PRL response to sulpiride were increased in women with PCOS. In women with PCOS medical ovariectomy induced by GnRH-a administration reversed to normal both basal and sulpiride-stimulated PRL levels.

Conclusions: In women with PCOS the abnormal regulation of PRL and presumably of hypothalamic neurotransmitters controlling PRL secretion is not a primary alteration but it is likely dependent on abnormal ovarian functionality.

MeSH terms

  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Dopamine / physiology
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Female
  • Goserelin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / therapeutic use
  • Ovary / physiopathology*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Prolactin / metabolism*
  • Sulpiride


  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Goserelin
  • Estradiol
  • Sulpiride
  • Prolactin
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate
  • Dopamine