Prolactin Production in Uterine Fibroids May Contribute to Their Fibrogenicity

Prolactin may directly contribute to the fibrogenicity of uterine fibroids, according to the results of a new study from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

The researchers aimed to better understand prolactin production in uterine fibroids and prolactin’s effects on myometrial cells, where uterine fibroids occur.

Samples of myometrium were compared between patients with and without uterine fibroids. Results of the analysis showed that prolactin and dopamine receptor D2—a regulator of prolactin—are significantly expressed in myometrium cells of women with uterine fibroids. Moreover, an immunohistochemistry analysis confirmed the increased level of prolactin in women with uterine fibroids vs those without.

“Our findings suggest that local prolactin production in leiomyomas may stimulate trans-differentiation of myometrial cells to myofibroblasts, which in turn contributes to the fibrotic nature of leiomyomas,” the researchers concluded.

—Amanda Balbi


DiMauro A, Seger C, Minor B, et al. Prolactin is expressed in uterine leiomyomas and promotes signaling and fibrosis in myometrial cells. Reprod Sci. Published online November 1, 2021.