Recent studies have indicated that several plant extracts reputed to be lactogenic, are capable of secreting prolactin and growth hormone (GH). The compound which proved to be active in the plant extracts are derived from polysaccharides such as pectic acid and ?-glucan.
The result of the present investigation showed that pectic acid and ?-glucan when added to the culture medium of the GH3/B6 rat pituitary cell line stimulates prolactin release. Pectic acid (100 ?g/ml) increased prolactin secretion after 30 minutes of incubation that is about 40% of control medium. ?-glucan showed stimulatory activity at the concentration of 10?g/ml after 48 hours and at higher concentration (50-100?g/ml) after 72 hours. Previous studies have shown that TRH (Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone) stimulated prolactin secretion in lactotrop cells. Therefore, TRH was used as a control to evaluate the capacity of the cells to respond to a secretory stimulus.