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

Relaxin and its role in the development and treatment of fibrosis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebr., USA.


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.

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