Structural and functional effects of high prolactin levels on injured endothelial cells: Evidence for an endothelial prolactin receptor

C. J. Merkle, L. A. Schuler, R. C. Schaeffer, J. M. Gribbon, D. W. Montgomery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


Stress has been linked to health problems such as atherosclerosis and prolonged wound healing, which involve the responses of injured endothelial cells. Though prolactin (PRL) levels become increased during the physiological response to stress, the significance and effects of these increases are largely unknown. Here we examined the effects of elevated, though physiological, concentrations of PRL on the responses of cultured endothelial cells after mechanical injury to cell monolayers. When treated at the time of injury with PRL levels of 62.5-1000 ng/mL, cells at the wound front became abnormal in shape and had reductions in f-actin staining in comparison to controls that were not PRL-treated. High PRL concentrations also inhibited the adhesion of cells to their growth surface in a dose-dependent manner. Using rhodamine-labeled PRL, we observed specific PRL uptake by these cells that suggested the presence of a PRL receptor. Finally, mRNA for the long form of the PRL receptor was detected by RT-PCR. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating that (1) high PRL concentrations alter the actin cytoskeleton and adhesion of injured endothelial cells and (2) endothelial cells express the transcript for the PRL receptor. Thus, we report novel effects of PRL that may be mediated by activation of an endothelial cell PRL receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000



  • Actin cytoskeleton
  • Endothelial cell
  • Prolactin
  • Prolactin receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

Cite this