[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prolactin is best known as the polypeptide anterior pituitary hormone, which regulates the development of the mammary gland. However, it became clear over the last decade that prolactin contributes to a broad range of pathologies, including breast cancer. Prolactin is also involved in angiogenesis via the release of pro-angiogenic factors by leukocytes and epithelial cells. However, whether prolactin also influences endothelial cells, and whether there are functional consequences of prolactin-induced signalling in the perspective of angiogenesis, remains so far elusive. In the present study, we show that prolactin induces phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and STAT5 and induces tube formation of endothelial cells on Matrigel. These effects are blocked by a specific prolactin receptor antagonist, del1-9-G129R-hPRL. Moreover, in an in vivo model of the chorioallantoic membrane of the chicken embryo, prolactin enhances vessel density and the tortuosity of the vasculature and pillar formation, which are hallmarks of intussusceptive angiogenesis. Interestingly, while prolactin has only little effect on endothelial cell proliferation, it markedly stimulates endothelial cell migration. Again, migration was reverted by del1-9-G129R-hPRL, indicating a direct effect of prolactin on its receptor. Immunohistochemistry and spectral imaging revealed that the prolactin receptor is present in the microvasculature of human breast carcinoma tissue. Altogether, these results suggest that prolactin may directly stimulate angiogenesis, which could be one of the mechanisms by which prolactin contributes to breast cancer progression, thereby providing a potential tool for intervention.
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 12/2011; 16(9):2035-48. · 4.75 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prolactin is best known as the polypeptide anterior pituitary hormone, which regulates the development of the mammary gland. However, it became clear over the last decade that prolactin contributes to a broad range of pathologies, including breast cancer. Prolactin is also involved in angiogenesis via the release of pro-angiogenic factors by leukocytes and epithelial cells. However, whether prolactin also influences endothelial cells, and whether there are functional consequences of prolactin-induced signalling in the perspec-tive of angiogenesis, remains so far elusive. In the present study, we show that prolactin induces phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and STAT5 and induces tube formation of endothelial cells on Matrigel. These effects are blocked by a specific prolactin receptor antagonist, del1-9-G129R-hPRL. Moreover, in an in vivo model of the chorioallantoic membrane of the chicken embryo, prolactin enhances vessel den-sity and the tortuosity of the vasculature and pillar formation, which are hallmarks of intussusceptive angiogenesis. Interestingly, while prolactin has only little effect on endothelial cell proliferation, it markedly stimulates endothelial cell migration. Again, migration was reverted by del1-9-G129R-hPRL, indicating a direct effect of prolactin on its receptor. Immunohistochemistry and spectral imaging revealed that the prolactin receptor is present in the microvasculature of human breast carcinoma tissue. Altogether, these results sug-gest that prolactin may directly stimulate angiogenesis, which could be one of the mechanisms by which prolactin contributes to breast cancer progression, thereby providing a potential tool for intervention.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atherothrombosis is a multifactorial process, governed by an interaction between the vessel wall, hemodynamic factors and systemic atherothrombotic risk factors. Recent in vitro, human ex vivo and animal studies have implicated the hormone prolactin as an atherothrombotic mediator. To address this issue, we evaluated the anatomy and function of various microvascular beds as well as plasma atherothrombosis markers in patients with elevated prolactin levels. In this pilot study, involving 10 prolactinoma patients and 10 control subjects, sidestream dark field (SDF) imaging revealed a marked perturbation of the sublingual microcirculation in prolactinoma patients compared to control subjects, as attested to by significant changes in microvascular flow index (2.74 ± 0.12 vs. 2.91 ± 0.05, respectively; P = 0.0006), in heterogeneity index (0.28 [IQR 0.18-0.31] vs. 0.09 [IQR 0.08-0.17], respectively; P = 0.002) and lower proportion of perfused vessels (90 ± 4.0% vs. 95 ± 3.0%, respectively; P = 0.016). In the retina, fluorescein angiography (FAG) confirmed these data, since prolactinoma patients more often have dilatated perifoveal capillaries. In plasma, prolactinoma patients displayed several pro-atherogenic disturbances, including a higher endogenous thrombin potential and prothrombin levels as well as decreased HDL-cholesterol levels. Prolactinoma patients are characterized by microvascular dysfunction as well as plasma markers indicating a pro-atherothrombotic state. Further studies are required to assess if prolactin is causally involved in atherothrombotic disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite improvement of microvascular outcomes as a consequence of optimal glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes, prevention of macrovascular complications is still a major challenge. Of interest, large-scale intervention studies (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes, Action in Diabetes and Vascular Disease-Preterax and Diamicron Modified Release Controlled Evaluation and Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial) comparing standard therapy versus more intensive glucose-lowering therapy failed to report beneficial impacts on macrovascular outcomes. Consequently, it is currently under debate whether the high doses of exogenous insulin that were administered in these trials to achieve strict target glucose levels could be responsible for these unexpected outcomes. Additionally, a potential role for plasma insulin levels in predicting macrovascular outcomes has emerged in patients with or without type 2 diabetes. These observations, combined with evidence from in vitro and animal experiments, suggest that insulin might have intrinsic atherogenic effects. In this review, we summarize clinical trials, population-based studies as well as data emerging from basic science experiments that point towards the hypothesis that the administration of high insulin doses might not be beneficial in patients with type 2 diabetes and established macrovascular disease.
Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism 07/2011; 13(12):1073-87. · 5.18 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The aim of this trial was to determine whether obese patients benefit from treatment with rimonabant in terms of progression of carotid atherosclerosis. Rimonabant, a selective cannabinoid-1 receptor blocker, reduces body weight and improves cardiometabolic risk factors in patients who are obese. DESIGN, SETTING, PATIENTS, INTERVENTIONS AND RESULTS: A prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (Atherosclerosis Underlying Development assessed by Intima-media Thickness in patients On Rimonabant (AUDITOR)) randomised 661 patients with abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome to rimonabant or placebo for 30 months of treatment. The absolute change in the average value for six segments of far wall carotid intima-media thickness from baseline to month 30 was 0.010 ± 0.095 mm in the rimonabant group and 0.012 ± 0.091 mm in the placebo group (p=0.67). The annualised change was an increase of 0.005 ± 0.042 mm for the rimonabant-treated group and 0.007 ± 0.043 mm for the placebo-treated group (p=0.45). CONCLUSIONS: There was no difference in atherosclerosis progression between patients receiving rimonabant for 30 months and those receiving placebo for the primary efficacy measure (absolute change in carotid intima-media thickness). These findings are consistent with a similar study using coronary intravascular ultrasound and another study evaluating the occurrence of cardiovascular events. Our findings suggest that a 5% loss of body weight over a 30-month period with rimonabant is insufficient to modify atherosclerosis progression in the carotid artery in obese patients with metabolic syndrome. Clinical trial registration information clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00228176.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the association between adiponectin levels and incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD). We performed a prospective case-control analysis nested in the EPIC-Norfolk cohort. Participants were apparently healthy men and women 45 to 79 years of age who developed fatal or nonfatal CHD during an average follow-up period of 7.7 ± 1.1 years. In total 1,035 participants with incident CHD were matched for age, gender, and enrollment time to 1,920 controls who remained free of CHD over the study follow-up. Baseline nonfasting plasma adiponectin concentrations were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Adiponectin levels were lower in participants with CHD than in matched controls (men 8.74 vs 9.13 μg/ml, p = 0.01; women 12.6 vs 13.4 μg/ml, p = 0.03). A 1-μg/ml increment in adiponectin was associated with decreased CHD risk (odds ratio 0.78, 95% confidence interval 0.63 to 0.96, p = 0.02, in men; odds ratio 0.73, 95% confidence interval 0.55 to 0.96, p = 0.03, in women). However, this association was no longer significant after adjustment for established cardiovascular risk factors. Stratification of participants according to metabolic syndrome status showed that men and women with metabolic syndrome had a higher CHD risk, irrespective of their adiponectin levels. In conclusion, although a low adiponectin concentration is associated with an increased CHD risk, findings of the present study do not suggest that its measurement is useful to refine CHD risk assessment once traditional risk factors and clinical features of the metabolic syndrome have been considered.
The American journal of cardiology 05/2011; 108(3):367-73. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several acquired risk factors for venous thrombosis (VT) are associated with high prolactin levels. Our goal was to investigate VT risk for different levels of prolactin.
We used data of a case-control study on leg vein thrombosis conducted between September 1999 and August 2006 at the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Prolactin was assessed in 187 cases (mean age, 57 years; range, 19 to 90) and 374 gender-matched controls (mean age, 57 years; range, 18 to 93). Odds ratios and 95% CI for VT risk were estimated based on several cutoff levels derived from prolactin levels in controls. Odds ratios for VT risk clearly increased with higher prolactin levels. For prolactin levels above the 75th percentile (8 μg/L), we found an odds ratio of 1.7 (95% CI 1.0 to 2.7) as compared with levels below the 50th percentile (6 μg/L). This further increased up to an odds ratio of 4.7 (95% CI 1.8 to 11.8) for prolactin levels above the 97.5th percentile (16 μg/L). The risk was most pronounced in premenopausal women.
Our data suggest that prolactin levels are associated with VT in a dose-dependent fashion. Future studies are needed to evaluate the causality of this relationship.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atherosclerotic vascular disease is the consequence of a chronic inflammatory process, and prolactin has been shown to be a component of the inflammatory response. Additionally, recent studies indicate that prolactin contributes to an atherogenic phenotype. We hypothesized that this may be the result of a direct effect of prolactin on atherogenesis through activation of the prolactin receptor. Human carotid atherosclerotic plaques were obtained from patients by endarteriectomies. The mRNA of prolactin receptor, but not of prolactin, was detected in these atherosclerotic plaques by quantitative real-time PCR. In situ hybridization confirmed the expression of the prolactin receptor in mononuclear cells. Analysis at the protein level using immunohistochemistry and immunoelectron microscopy revealed that the prolactin receptor was abundantly present in macrophages near the lipid core and shoulder regions of the plaques. Our findings demonstrate that the prolactin receptor is present in macrophages of the atherosclerotic plaque at sites of most prominent inflammation. We therefore propose that prolactin receptor signaling contributes to the local inflammatory response within the atherosclerotic plaque and thus to atherogenesis.
Journal of Endocrinology 11/2010; 208(2):107-17. · 4.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prolactin may contribute to an atherogenic phenotype. Furthermore, previous studies have shown that prolactin levels increase in situations of acute stress and inflammation. We therefore aimed to investigate the relationship between prolactin, acute stress and inflammation in patients with myocardial infarction. We performed a case-control study in 40 patients with myocardial infarction and 39 controls, aged 41-84 years. Blood for assessment of prolactin and high sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) was drawn at inclusion, that is, during the acute phase of the event, and 2-3 weeks later. Unexpectedly, prolactin levels at inclusion did not differ between cases and controls (7.0 ng/ml and 6.0 ng/ml, respectively, p=0.28). 2-3 weeks later prolactin levels in cases had not decreased. However, univariate regression analysis indicated that hsCRP is associated with prolactin levels (regression coefficient β 0.11; [95% CI 0.01; 0.21]; p=0.03) in cases during the acute phase of myocardial infarction. Our findings may suggest that prolactin is involved in the systemic inflammatory response, which takes place during myocardial infarction; however, this association may not be strong enough to induce higher prolactin levels in patients with myocardial infarction.
Hormone and Metabolic Research 09/2010; 43(1):62-5. · 2.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a rare disease, it has very serious consequences for both mother and child. No single cause has been held responsible for the pathogenesis. Recent studies have indicated that increased proteolytic cathepsin D activity in cardiomyocytes results in16kDa prolactin fragments with anti-angiogenic and apoptotic properties, which may contribute to the development of PPCM. In support of these findings, lowering full-length prolactin production by bromocriptine therapy has been reported to prevent impairment of cardiac function. PPCM is associated with an increased co-existence of pre-eclampsia, however, a causal relationship has been disputed. We hypothesize that the pathophysiology of PPCM and pre-eclampsia share the same molecular pathway: increased activity of trophoblastic matrix metalloproteinases at the feto-maternal interface may aggravate proteolysis of full-length prolactin, and subsequently the formed 16kDa prolactin fragments may contribute to deterioration of PPCM and pre-eclampsia. Therefore, we argue that it may be worthwhile to explore wether prolactin inhibition is not only beneficial for PPCM patients, but also for the much more prevalent pre-eclamptic women.
Medical Hypotheses 09/2009; 74(2):348-52. · 1.05 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prolactin is increasingly recognized to play a stimulatory role in the inflammatory response. Because inflammation is considered of crucial importance in the development of atherosclerosis, we aimed to evaluate whether prolactin levels are associated with the occurrence of coronary artery disease (CAD).
We performed a nested case-control study in the prospective EPIC-Norfolk cohort. Cases were apparently healthy men and women, aged 45 to 79 years, who developed fatal or nonfatal CAD (n=882). Controls remained free of CAD (n=1490). Overall, systemic prolactin levels did not differ between cases and controls, and people in the highest prolactin tertile did not have a significantly increased risk of developing future CAD (in men, odds ratio, 1.21; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.61; in women, odds ratio, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.76 to 1.64). However, in a separate immunohistochemical study, the presence of prolactin receptors could be demonstrated in postmortem human coronary artery plaques (preliminary data).
Elevated systemic prolactin levels do not predict CAD in the general population. However, prolactin receptors were found in human coronary artery plaques. This observation may indicate a role of prolactin within atherosclerotic plaques. More studies are needed to define the possible role of prolactin in atherosclerotic plaque development.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several endocrine disorders have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. In addition, even subtle hormonal disturbances may modulate the function of cardiovascular organs. In this article, we discuss in detail the contribution of thyroid hormones, cortisol, the somatotropic hormones, and prolactin in the development of CVD. We do not only discuss epidemiological evidence on the association between hormones and cardiovascular disease, but we also address possible pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this association. In fact, hormones can contribute to the development of CVD both indirectly by inducing secondary metabolic changes such as hypertension, insulin resistance, or dyslipidemia, and directly by modulation of cellular pathways that are important in the process of atherosclerotic plaque formation (atherogenesis), plaque instability, and thrombosis. To date several new therapeutic approaches that focus on the control of hormones at the tissue level, independently of their circulating levels, are being developed. These may offer new possibilities for cardiovascular risk reduction.
Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis 08/2009; 35(5):478-87. · 4.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Platelets play an important role in the development of plaque formation and in the events after rupture of the atherosclerotic plaque, leading to atherothrombosis. Multiple hormones, either in excess or when deficient, are involved in the development of atherothrombotic disease, but, to which extent such hormones affect platelet function, is still controversial. It was the objective of this study to assess the ability of the pituitary hormone prolactin to affect platelet functions. Venous blood was collected from six healthy males. Platelet activation was studied by (i) flow cytometry in whole blood (exposure of P-selectin as a measure of platelet secretion, and binding of PAC-1 as a measure of ligand-binding conformation of alpha(IIb)beta(3)), and by (ii) optical aggregation and whole blood aggregation. All studies were performed without and with exposure to several concentrations of ADP (0.1, 0.5 and 1.0 microM) and prolactin (50 and 1,000 microg/l). The presence of the prolactin receptor was investigated by Western blot and flow cytometry. In response to either 50 or 1,000 microg/l prolactin, no evidence of platelet activation or aggregation was found. In addition, ADP-induced platelet activation or aggregation was not enhanced by prolactin. Finally, prolactin receptors could not be detected on the surface of platelets. The present data indicate that prolactin does not directly modulate platelet function.
Thrombosis and Haemostasis 07/2009; 101(6):1119-27. · 6.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Health literacy is the combination of cognitive and social skills that is necessary for adequate response to information about health, illness and health care. Subjects with limited health literacy often experience difficulty in understanding the information provided by health care professionals and finding their way in the health care system, with consequent increased morbidity and mortality. Health literacy is a wider concept than literacy. Approximately 1.5 million people in the Netherlands, of which two thirds are of ethnic Dutch origin, have low literacy skills or are illiterate. The group with low health literacy is even larger. Health care professionals, including physicians, must be able to recognise limited health literacy in order to react appropriately, for example by adapting information provision, checking understanding, supporting communication with visual aids, and making longer appointments.Such measures may be expected to improve results, but investigation of their effectiveness is necessary.
Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde 01/2009; 153:A250.