Effect of cocaine on decidual prolactin secretion in vitro

Chaur Dong Hsu, Howard A. Zacur, Timothy R.B. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The physiological role of decidual prolactin production is still unclear. This study was designed to investigate whether cocaine could affect in vitro prolactin secretion from human decidua. Fresh decidua obtained at term during elective cesarean section (n = 4) was placed in 8 ml Gey's buffer with varying concentrations (0, 10-6, 10-5, 10-4 M) of cocaine in a 5% CO2, 95% air incubator at 37oC for 24 hr. At intervals, 4 and 24 hr, 0.8-ml aliquots were taken and the prolactin concentrations were determined by enzyme immunoassay. Prolactin concentrations rose after exposure to cocaine at all concentrations, but this increase was only statistically significant at the highest concentration (10-4 M) after 24 hr incubation. We conclude that cocaine stimulates the secretion or release of prolactin from human decidua in vitro. Whether this may play a role in the premature labor induced by cocaine awaits further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-253
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Enzyme immunoassay
  • Fetal lung maturation
  • Premature labor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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