The neurotransmitter/neuromodulator dopamine plays an important role in both the central nervous system and the periphery. In the hypothalamopituitary system its function is a dominant and tonic inhibitory regulation of pituitary hormone secretion including prolactin- and proopiomelanocortin-derived hormones. It is well known that dopamine agonists, such as bromocriptine, pergolide, quinagolide, cabergoline, and lisuride, can inhibit PRL secretion by binding to the D2 dopamine receptors located on normal as well as tumorous pituitary cells. Moreover, they can effectively decrease excessive PRL secretion as well as the size of the tumor in patients having prolactinoma. Furthermore, dopamine agonists can also be used in other pituitary tumors. The major requirement for its use is that the tumor cells should express D2 receptors. Therefore, in addition to prolactinomas, targets of dopamine agonist therapy are somatotroph tumors, nonfunctioning pituitary tumors, corticotroph pituitary tumors, Nelson's syndrome, gonadotropinomas, and thyrotropin-secreting pituitary tumors. It is also an option for the treatment of pituitary disease during pregnancy. Differences between the effectiveness and the resistance of different dopaminergic agents as well as the future perspectives of them in the therapy of pituitary tumors are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism