Normal structural dopamine type 2 receptor gene in prolactin-secreting and other pituitary tumors

Eitan Friedman, Eric F. Adams, Anders Höög, Pablo V. Gejman, Emma Carson, Catharina Larsson, Luiz De Marco, Sigbritt Werner, Rudolph Fahlbusch, Magnus Nordenskjöld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dopamine, acting via its specific receptor (DRD2) in the anterior pituitary, tonically inhibits pituitary prolactin secretion and lactotroph proliferation. In addition, dopamine agonist therapy for pituitary prolactinomas results in reduction of prolactin secretion and tumor regression. These observations lead to the speculation that functional dopamine uncoupling may release lactotrophs from the inhibitory effects of dopamine and contribute to the development of prolactin (PRL)-secreting pituitary tumors. We hypothesized that such an uncoupling may occur by inactivating mutation(s) of the DRD2. To test our hypothesis, we examined 79 pituitary tumors, mostly prolactinomas and mixed GH/PRL-secreting, for mutations in the coding exons of the DRD2 gene. We used the polymerase chain reaction and analyzed the fragments for migration abnormalities on denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, complemented by direct DNA sequencing. No mutations were demonstrated, and all migration abnormalities detected by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis were due to polymorphisms within the DRD2 gene. In addition, allelic losses in the multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 region in 11q13 could not be demonstrated in all five informative prolactinomas. We conclude that mutations in the DRD2 gene do not occur in PRL or GH/PRL-secreting pituitary tumors and that allelic loss of 11q13 is uncommon in prolactinomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-574
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994
Externally publishedYes


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