The G protein-coupled receptors LGR7 and LGR8 have recently been identified as the primary receptors for the polypeptide hormone relaxin and relaxin-like factors. RT-PCR confirmed the existence of mRNA for both LGR7 and LRG8 in THP-1 cells. Whole cell treatment of THP-1 cells with relaxin produced a biphasic time course in cAMP accumulation, where the first peak appeared as early as 1-2 min with a second peak at 10-20 min. Selective inhibitors for phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), such as wortmannin and LY294002, showed a dose-dependent inhibition of relaxin-mediated increases in cAMP, specific for the second peak of the relaxin time course. Adenylyl cyclase activation by relaxin in purified plasma membranes from THP-1 cells was not inhibited by LY294002, consistent with a mechanism involving direct stimulation by a Galphas-coupled relaxin receptor. However, reconstitution of membranes with cytosol from THP-1 cells enhanced adenylyl cyclase activity and restored LY294002 sensitivity. In addition, relaxin increased PI3K activity in THP-1 cells. Neither the effects of relaxin nor the inhibition of relaxin by LY294002 was mediated by the activity of phosphodiesterases. Taken together, we show that PI3K is required for the biphasic stimulation of cAMP by relaxin in THP-1 cells and present a novel signal transduction pathway for the activation of adenylyl cyclase by a G protein-coupled receptor.