Role of salsolinol in the regulation of pituitary prolactin and peripheral dopamine release

Márk Oláh, Ibolya Bodnár, Galit Daniel, Béla E. Tóth, Miklós Vecsernyés, György M. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Citations (Scopus)


(R)-Salsolinol (SAL), a dopamine (DA)-related tetrahydroisoquinoline, has been found in extracts of the neuro-intermediate lobes (NIL) of pituitary glands and in the median eminence of the hypothalamus obtained from intact male rats and from ovariectomized and lactating female rats. Moreover, analysis of SAL concentrations in NIL revealed parallel increases with plasma prolactin (PRL) in lactating rats exposed to a brief (10 min) suckling stimulus after 4-h separation. SAL is sufficiently potent in vivo to account for the massive discharge of PRL that occurs after physiological stimuli (i.e. suckling). At the same time, it was without effect on the secretion of other pituitary hormones. It has been also shown that another isoquinoline derivative, 1-methyldihydroisoquinoline (1MeDIQ), which is a structural analogue of SAL, can dose-dependently inhibit the in-vivo PRL-releasing effect of SAL. Moreover, 1MeDIQ can inhibit the elevation of plasma PRL induced by physiological stimuli, for example suckling, or in different stressful situations also. 1MeDIQ also has a psycho-stimulant action, which is fairly similar to the effect of amphetamine, i.e. it induces an increase in plasma catecholamine concentrations. It is clear from these data that this newly discovered endogenous compound could be involved in regulation of pituitary PRL secretion. It has also been observed that SAL is present in peripheral, sympathetically innervated organs, for example the atrium, spleen, liver, ovaries, vas deferens, and salivary gland. Furthermore, SAL treatment of rats results in dose-dependent and time-dependent depletion of the DA content of the organs listed above without having any effect on the concentration of norepinephrine. More importantly, this effect of SAL can be completely prevented by amphetamine and by 1MeDIQ pretreatment. It is clear there is a mutual interaction between SAL, 1MeDIQ, and amphetamine or alcohol, not only on PRL release; their interaction with catecholamine "synthesis/metabolism" of sympathetic nerve terminals is also obvious.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalReproductive Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamine
  • Peripheral dopamine
  • Prolactin
  • Salsolinol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology

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