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Sex Differences in Plasma Prolactin Tryptophan Response in CFS with/out Comorbid FM

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by leelaplay, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. leelaplay

    leelaplay member

    Sex Differences in Plasma Prolactin Response to Tryptophan in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients With and Without Comorbid Fibromyalgia

    Tate Mitchell posted this to CO-CURE today

    'Sex Differences in Plasma Prolactin Response to Tryptophan in Chronic
    Fatigue Syndrome Patients With and Without Comorbid Fibromyalgia'

    Weaver SA, Janal MN, Aktan N, Ottenweller JE, Natelson BH.

    J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2010 Apr 12. [Epub ahead of print]
    1 Department of Neurology & Neurosciences, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical
    School , Newark, New Jersey.



    Abstract Background: Some think chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and
    fibromyalgia (FM) are variants of the same illness process. This would
    imply that CFS patients with and without comorbid FM have similar
    biological underpinnings. To test this, we compared serotonergic-based
    responses, plasma prolactin (PRL), and self-reported measures of
    fatigue to intravenous infusion of tryptophan among patients with CFS
    alone, CFS + FM, and healthy controls. Methods: Men and women with CFS
    alone or CFS + FM and healthy subjects, none with current major
    depressive disorder (MDD), were given 120 mg of l-tryptophan per kg
    lean body mass intravenously (i.v.). Before and after tryptophan
    infusion, blood samples were collected, and plasma PRL, tryptophan,
    and kynurenine concentrations were determined. Results: Women with CFS
    alone, but not CFS + FM, showed upregulated plasma PRL responses
    compared with controls. There were no differences among groups of men.
    Plasma tryptophan and kynurenine concentrations did not differ among

    Conclusions: These results indicate that
    • women with CFS alone have upregulated serotonergic tone that is not seen in those with
      comorbid FM.
    • The lack of effect in men suggests a mechanism that might
      explain, in part, the increased prevalence of CFS in women.
    • The data support the interpretation that CFS in women is a different illness from FM.

    PMID: 20384451 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  2. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    I just had a quick search for 'prolactin' after stumbling across the following and it vaguely reminding me of some CFS research. Does anyone know what the prolactin results were from this study? Ta:

    "At first, rising prolactin causes sleepy post-orgasm contentment. (Interestingly the amount of prolactin produced is far greater after sex with a partner than after masturbation. Thus there is little prolactin relief for those who masturbate.) But once this sleepy feeling of satiation has passed, prolactin may go on rising and cause problems for couples wanting to sustain a long-term sexual relationship. In both men and women excess levels of prolactin can cause loss of libido, anxiety, headaches, mood swings and depression.6

    "High prolactin is associated with sensations of despair. When the prolactin levels of newly caged wild monkeys were monitored, the hormone was seen to rise once the animals realised they were trapped.7 Levels of the hormone were much higher in monkeys incarcerated for months compared with wild animals that had only just been caged. Science has yet to determine how long prolactin continues to rise and remain high in humans after orgasm, so this is speculative, but in a relationship with lots of sex it could mean levels are elevated for weeks or even months."
  3. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Don't know. But I recall reading a prolactin stimulation study (i.e. where a drug was injected to artificially stimuates prolactin) and it said, as I recall, that baseline levels of prolactin were/are normal in people with ME/CFS. So the sex thing probably wouldn't be that relevant to ME/CFS.

    ETA: from Charles Shepherd's book, Living with ME: (not going to write it all)

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