BACKGROUND/AIM Prolactin (PRL), a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, has multiple physiological functions, including immunoregulation. PRL can also be secreted in response to stressful stimuli. During stress, PRL has been suggested to oppose the immunosuppressive effects of inflammatory mediators. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to analyze the effects of short- and long-term hyperprolactinemia on the inflammatory response in rats subjected to acute or chronic cold stress. METHODS Inflammatory edema was induced by carrageenan in male rats, and hyperprolactinemia was induced by injections of the dopamine receptor antagonist domperidone. The volume of inflammatory edema was measured by plethysmography after carrageenan injection. Additionally, the effects of hyperprolactinemia on body weight and serum corticosterone levels were evaluated. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION Five days of domperidone-induced hyperprolactinemia increased the volume of inflammatory edema. No differences in serum corticosterone levels were observed between groups. No significant differences were found among 30 days domperidone-induced hyperprolactinemic animals subjected to acute stress and the inflammatory response observed in chronic hyperprolactinemic animals subjected to chronic stress. The results suggest that short-term hyperprolactinemia has pro-inflammatory effects. Because such an effect was not observed in long-term hyperprolactinemic animals, PRL-induced tolerance seems likely. We suggest that short-term hyperprolactinemia may act as a protective factor in rats subjected to acute stress. These data suggest that hyperprolactinemia and stress interact differentially according to the time period.