Effect of dopamine agonists on lactotroph adenomas of the human pituitary

Lucia Stefaneanu, Kalman Kovacs, Bernd W. Scheithauer, George Kontogeorgos, Darren L. Riehle, Thomas J. Sebo, David Murray, Sergio Vidal, Ami Tran, Michael Buchfelder, Rudolf Fahlbusch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Dopamine (DA) agonists cause reduction of blood prolactin level and tumor shrinkage in most patients with lactotroph adenoma. Our aim was to investigate the cellular mechanism of tumor shrinkage by determining mitotic, MIB-1, p27, and apoptotic indices, as well as microvessel density (MVD), surface microvessel density (SMD), ploidy, and other nuclear parameters. Surgically removed lactotroph adenomas were selected from 29 patients, of whom 19 were treated with oral bromocriptine (BEC), long-acting injectable BEC (BEC-LAR), or quinagolide and 10 were untreated. In treated adenomas mitotic and MIB-1 indices were lower, whereas the apoptotic indices were not significantly higher compared to untreated adenomas. The decrease in MIB-1 labeling reached significance in adenomas exposed to quinagolide (p < 0.05). Aside from the BEC-LAR treated group, wherein p27 expression was significantly reduced (p < 0.05), p27 expression did not differ significantly between the treated and untreated groups. MVD density was significantly lower in the treated adenomas, whereas the decrease in SMD did not attain significance. The DNA ploidy and most other nuclear parameters did not differ significantly in the two groups. In conclusion, reduction of mitotic and MIB-1 indices indicates that suppression of cell proliferation contributes to tumor shrinkage, whereas p27 protein expression and apoptosis play no major role in the adenoma involution. Further studies are required to explain the effect of DA agonists on MVD and SMD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-352
Number of pages12
JournalEndocrine Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Adenomas
  • Dopamine agonists
  • Pituitary
  • Proliferation markers
  • Vasculature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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