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The uncoupled couple? Prolactin and CD4 lymphocytes in HIV infection

, : The uncoupled couple? Prolactin and CD4 lymphocytes in HIV infection. Medical Hypotheses 53(5): 425-428, Nov

The possible role of prolactin (PRL) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is unknown, despite the modulatory role of this hormore in humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. Recent studies have evidenced: (a) intralymphocyte synthesis of dopamine (DA) which down-regulates their own proliferation and differentiation; (b) decreased DA but increased PRL concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid of HIV-infected men; and (c) diminished hypothalamic DA tone in HIV-infected men. The present hypothesis proposes that, in HIV-infected men, a diminished generalized DA tone exists to stimulate human lymphocyte proliferation and differentiation at a maximum possible rate by: (1) decreasing the inhibitory influence of intralymphocyte DA; and (2) maintaining pituitary and extrapituitary (i.e. lymphocyte) PRL synthesis and release as high as possible. If this hypothesis is correct, it may have a potentially important therapeutic implication: the possibility to rebuild the battered immune system in HIV-infected patients from inside the body in a physiologic manner by the parenteral administration of recombinant human PRL.


DOI: 10.1054/mehy.1999.0930

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