Relaxin and its role in the development and treatment of fibrosis

Transl Res. 2009 Jul;154(1):1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2009.03.007. Epub 2009 Apr 22.


Relaxin, which is a peptide hormone of the insulin superfamily, is involved in the promotion of extracellular matrix remodeling. This property is responsible for many well-known reproductive functions of relaxin. Recent important findings, including the identification of the relaxin receptor and the development of the relaxin-null mouse, have identified new targets and mechanisms for relaxin's actions, which resulted in unprecedented advances in the field. Relaxin has emerged as a natural suppressor of age-related fibrosis in many tissues, which include the skin, lung, kidney, and heart. Furthermore, relaxin has shown efficacy in the prevention and treatment of a variety of models of experimentally induced fibrosis. The intention of this review is to present a summary of recent advances in relaxin research, with a focus on areas of potential translational research on fibrosis in nonreproductive organs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Liver Diseases / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Relaxin / physiology*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / pathology
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / physiopathology*


  • Relaxin