Abstract: Background: Prolactin (Prl) is a pleiotropic hormone initially described for its regulation of lactation in mammals but later associated with metabolic and immune homeostasis, stress, inflammatory response and human behavior. Its regulation through dopamine receptors highlights its importance in psychiatry mostly because hyperprolactinemia is a common secondary side effect of dopamine antagonists. Despite its undeciphered patho-physiological mechanisms, hyperprolactinemia in naïve psychosis patients has been widely described. Its consequences might underlie the increased morbidity and early mortality found in naïve subjects as described in the general population where prolactin values have been correlated with inflammatory, immune and metabolic parameters.
Methods: We aimed to evaluate the correlation between prolactin values and other biochemical parameters (C-reactive Protein-CrP, blood cell count, lipid and hepatic profile, fasting glucose) in a cohort of first episode psychosis naïve subjects (N = 491) stratified by sex. Regression analyses with confounders were performed to evaluate the association.
Findings: Prl displayed significant correlations with C-Reactive Protein (CrP), Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), Aspartate Transaminase (AST) for females and High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and eosinophil count for males. However, and despite previous specific sex correlations, significant associations were described for CrP, HDL, LDL, AST and ALT without sex interaction and despite confounders such as age, Body Mass Index or smoking status.
Conclusions: Our results show a specific relation of Prl with immune and metabolic parameters describing a heterogeneous pattern. Our results suggest that prolactin might underlie the excess of morbidity and early mortality in naïve patients through a specific pathway.
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