Annals

Relaxin and Related Peptides (1)

Edited by Edited by Gillian D. Bryant-Greenwood (University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine), Carol A. Bagnell (Rutgers University), and Ross A.D. Bathgate (University of Melbourne)
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Relaxin and Related Peptides (1)

Published: April 2009

Volume 1160

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Relaxin is a peptide hormone belonging to the insulin superfamily of hormones. Originally identified as the factor responsible for the widening of the pubic ligament in preparation for birth, relaxin was primarily considered to be a reproductive hormone. In recent years, however, the actions of relaxin and the number of relaxin-like members of this hormone family have increased; for example four relaxin-like hormones have now been discovered. Relaxin is now considered to be a cardiovascular hormone. It is produced and functions in the heart and blood vessels, has important anti-fibrotic actions in the kidney and lung,and is involved in tumor development via its angiogenic actions. Agonists and antagonists to relaxins and receptors are currently being developed and will likely have important clinical implications.