Sample records for relaxin

  1. Biology of primate relaxin: A paracrine signal in early pregnancy?

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    Hayes Eric S


    Full Text Available Abstract Relaxin is a peptide hormone that exerts numerous effects in a variety of tissues across a broad range of species. Although first identified more than 75 years ago interest in relaxin biology has waxed and waned over the years consistent with peaks and troughs of new experimental data on its wide-ranging biological effects and advances in relaxin enabling technologies. Recent insights into species-dependent differences in relaxin biology during pregnancy have once again stimulated a relative surge of interest in the study of relaxin's reproductive biology. Identification and pharmacological characterization of orphaned relaxin receptors and exploration of its paracrine effects on pregnancy using genomic and proteomic technologies have succeeded in fueling current interest in relaxin research. Primates and non-primate vertebrates exhibit very disparate profiles of relaxin genomics, proteomics and functional biology. Non-human primates appear to exhibit a very close similarity to humans with respect to relaxin reproductive biology but the similarities and subtle differences are only just beginning to be understood. We, and others, have shown that relaxin produces significant changes to the non-human primate endometrium during the peri-implantation period that are consistent with relaxin's long perceived role as a paracrine modulator of pregnancy. The purpose of this review is to summarize the reproductive biology of relaxin in non-human primates with a specific emphasis on the paracrine role of ovarian and endometrial relaxin during embryo implantation and early pregnancy.

  2. Expression of relaxin receptor LRG7, canine relaxin, and relaxin-like factor in the pelvic diaphragm musculature of dogs with and without perineal hernia. (United States)

    Merchav, Ronit; Feuermann, Yonatan; Shamay, Avi; Ranen, Eyal; Stein, Uri; Johnston, Dudley E; Shahar, Ron


    To compare the expression of canine relaxin, relaxin-like factor (RLF), and relaxin receptors within the muscles of the pelvic diaphragm of dogs with perineal hernia (PH) and clinically normal dogs. In vivo comparative study. Fifteen client-owned intact male dogs with PH were studied. Four mature intact male dogs with no evidence of perineal pathology served as controls. Biopsy samples from the levator ani, coccygeus, and internal obturator muscles were obtained. RNA samples were reverse transcribed and analyzed by real-time PCR for the expression of canine relaxin receptor LRG7, relaxin, and RLF. Significantly higher expression levels of canine relaxin receptors occurred in the musculature of the pelvic diaphragm and internal obturator muscle in dogs with PH compared with normal dogs. Expression of canine RLF revealed no significant difference between dogs with PH and controls. The difference in the expression of canine relaxin between groups was not statistically significant. Relaxin receptor up-regulation occurs in the coccygeus, levator ani, and internal obturator muscles of dogs with PH. The higher expression of relaxin receptors within the muscles of the pelvic diaphragm in dogs with PH suggests that relaxin might play a role in the pathogenesis of PH. Atrophy of these muscles, which predisposes to PH, may be attributable to increased relaxin activity.

  3. Upregulation of Relaxin after Experimental Subarachnoid Hemorrhage in Rabbits

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    Yuichiro Kikkawa


    Full Text Available Background. Although relaxin causes vasodilatation in systemic arteries, little is known about its role in cerebral arteries. We investigated the expression and role of relaxin in basilar arteries after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH in rabbits. Methods. Microarray analysis with rabbit basilar artery RNA was performed. Messenger RNA expression of relaxin-1 and relaxin/insulin-like family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1 was investigated with quantitative RT-PCR. RXFP1 expression in the basilar artery was investigated with immunohistochemistry. Relaxin concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF and serum were investigated with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Using human brain vascular smooth muscle cells (HBVSMC preincubated with relaxin, myosin light chain phosphorylation (MLC was investigated with immunoblotting after endothelin-1 stimulation. Results. After SAH, RXFP1 mRNA and protein were significantly downregulated on day 3, whereas relaxin-1 mRNA was significantly upregulated on day 7. The relaxin concentration in CSF was significantly elevated on days 5 and 7. Pretreatment with relaxin reduced sustained MLC phosphorylation induced by endothelin-1 in HBVSMC. Conclusion. Upregulation of relaxin and downregulation of RXFP1 after SAH may participate in development of cerebral vasospasm. Downregulation of RXFP1 may induce a functional decrease in relaxin activity during vasospasm. Understanding the role of relaxin may provide further insight into the mechanisms of cerebral vasospasm.

  4. Localisation of relaxin peptides in the brain: comparative mapping of relaxin-R2 and the novel relaxin-R3 gene expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burazin, T.C.D.; Macris, M.; Gundlach, A.L.; Tregear, G.W.


    Full text: Relaxin is a peptide hormone with known actions in the female reproductive tract that has also been identified in brain. Until recently, only one relaxin gene has been described in the rat and mouse. However, we have recently identified a new member of the relaxin gene family, relaxin gene-3, expressed in human, mouse and rat. Using [ 35 S]-labelled oligonucleotide probes and in situ hybridisation histochemistry, the current studies describe the distribution of mRNA encoding rat relaxin gene-1 (R1) and rat relaxin gene-3 (R3) in the adult rat brain. R1 mRNA was detected in several regions including the anterior olfactory nucleus, tenia tecta, orbital, frontal and piriform cortices, and in lower abundance in the hippocampus. In contrast, highly abundant expression of R3 mRNA was more restricted being present in the pars ventromedialis subdivision of the dorsal tegmental nucleus (vmDTg), with some low level expression in the hippocampus. Autoradiographic visualisation of [ 33 P]-labelled human relaxin binding sites revealed the presence of putative relaxin receptors in the DTg centralis and vmDTg, as well as in several forebrain areas previously identified. Studies are currently underway to investigate the activity-dependent regulation and developmental expression of relaxin transcripts, including the possible co-localisation of R3 mRNA with neurotransmitters such as GABA and 5- HT, and other peptides. These studies are consistent with an important role for these novel relaxin peptides in the rat central nervous system. Copyright (2002) Australian Neuroscience Society

  5. Potential Therapeutic Use of Relaxin in Healing Cranial Bone Defects (United States)


    to measure circulating concentrations of relaxin during the infusion by ELISA ; 3. sacrifice the mice at 10-12 days after cranial defect; 4. fix the...osmotic pump for 10-12 days, and to measure circulating concentrations of relaxin during the infusion by ELISA . Values of 0.35, 0.69, 1.61, 0.66, 1.99...vehicle-infused mice, because in our previous work, none was detected. This makes sense, because the ELISA we use does not detect mouse relaxin

  6. Chimeric relaxin peptides highlight the role of the A-chain in the function of H2 relaxin. (United States)

    Hossain, Mohammed Akhter; Wade, John D; Bathgate, Ross A D


    Human gene-2 (H2) relaxin is a member of the insulin-relaxin peptide superfamily. Because of the potential clinical applications of H2 relaxin, there is a need for novel analogs that have improved biological activity and receptor specificity. In this respect, we have chemically assembled chimeric peptides consisting of the B-chain of H2 relaxin in combination with A-chains from other insulin/relaxin family members. The peptides were prepared using solid phase peptide synthesis together with regioselective disulfide bond formation and characterized by RP-HPLC, MALDI-TOF MS and amino acid analysis. Their in vitro activity was assessed in RXFP1 or RXFP2 expressing cells. Replacement of the H2 relaxin A-chain resulted in parallel losses of binding affinity and activity on RXFP1. Not surprisingly H1A-H2B demonstrated the highest activity as the H1 A-chain shares high homology with H2 relaxin whereas INSLA-H2B, which shows low homology, had very poor activity. Importantly A-chain replacements had a dramatic effect on RXFP2 activity similar to previous results demonstrating different modes of activation of A-chain variants on RXFP1 and RXFP2. H3A-H2B is particularly interesting as it displays moderate activity at RXFP1 but poor activity at RXFP2 indicating that it may be a template for specific RXFP1 agonist development. Our study confirms that the activity of H2 relaxin at both RXFP1 and RXFP2 relies on interactions with both the B- and A-chains, and also provide new biochemical insights into the mechanism of relaxin action that the A-chain needs to be in native or near-native form for strong RXFP1 or RXFP2 agonist activity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Protein anabolic effects of two chemically distinct relaxins in mouse uteri

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bylander, J.E.; Adams, W.C.; Frieden, E.H.


    In addition to B-28 relaxin (relaxin B) and B-32 relaxin, acid-acetone extracts of porcine ovaries contain relaxin C, which differs both chemically and biologically from the others. Relaxin C contains one proline residue and a single tryptophane residue; it is about half as active as relaxin B in the guinea pig assay, is active in the motility inhibition assay, but is essentially completely inactive in the mouse pubic ligament assay. Relaxin B has been shown to exhibit protein anabolic properties in rat uteri. To compare the effects of relaxins B and C on uterine protein synthesis, ovariectomized, estrogen-primed mice were given relaxin B or C (10-100 μgm/100 gm b.w. in 1% benzopurpurine 4B) and the uptake of 3 H-proline into uterine protein measured in vitro and in vivo 3-12 hours later. Both relaxins induced significant (40-100%) increases in proline incorporation rates. Maximal stimulation of soluble protein synthesis occurred 3 hr after administration of either relaxin; in contrast, peak uptake of proline into uterine collagen occurred after 6 hr. Stimulation of collagen synthesis was more pronounced as well as more prolonged than the synthesis of soluble protein. Larger doses of relaxin C (as compared to B) were required for continued enhancement of collagen synthesis

  8. Triazine herbicides inhibit relaxin signaling and disrupt nitric oxide homeostasis

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    Park, Si Eun; Lim, Sa Rang; Choi, Hyung-kyoon; Bae, Jeehyeon, E-mail:


    Triazines are herbicides that are widely used worldwide, and we previously observed that the maternal exposure of mice to simazine (50 or 500 μg/kg) resulted in smaller ovaries and uteri of their female offspring. Here, we investigated the underlying mechanism that may account for the reproductive dysfunction induced by simazine. We found that following maternal exposure, simazine is transmitted to the offspring, as evidenced by its presence in the offspring ovaries. Analyses of the simazine-exposed offspring revealed that the expression of the relaxin hormone receptor, relaxin-family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1), prominently decreased in their ovaries and uteri. In addition, downstream target genes of the relaxin pathway including nitric oxide (NO) synthase 2 (Nos2), Nos3, matrix metallopeptidase 9 (Mmp9), and vascular endothelial growth factor (Vegf) were downregulated in their ovaries. Moreover, AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) levels and their phosphorylated active forms decreased in simazine-exposed ovaries. In vitro exposure of the human ovarian granulosa cells (KGN) and uterine endometrium cells (Hec-1A) to very low concentrations (0.001 to 1 nM) of triazines including atrazine, terbuthylazine, and propazine repressed NO production with a concurrent reduction in RXFP1, NOS2, and NOS3. The inhibitory action of triazines on NO release was dependent on RXFP1, phosphoinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT, and ERK. Radioligand-binding assay also confirmed that triazines competitively inhibited the binding of relaxin to its receptor. Therefore, the present study suggests that triazine herbicides act as endocrine disrupters by interfering with relaxin hormone signaling. Thus, further evaluation of their impact on human health is imperative. - Highlights: • Triazines downregulate critical molecules involved in the relaxin signaling pathway. • Triazines act as potent antagonists of binding of relaxin to its receptor. • Triazines disrupt nitric oxide

  9. Relaxin concentrations in serum and urine of endangered and crazy mixed-up species. (United States)

    Steinetz, B; Lasano, S; de Haas van Dorsser, F; Glickman, S; Bergfelt, D; Santymire, R; Songsassen, N; Swanson, W


    The human population explosion has pushed many mammalian wildlife species to the brink of extinction. Conservationists are increasingly turning to captive breeding as a means of preserving the gene pool. We previously reported that serum immunoactive relaxin provided a reliable means of distinguishing between true and pseudopregnancy in domestic dogs, and this method has since been found to be a reliable indicator of true pregnancy in endangered Asian and African elephants and Sumatran rhinoceroses. Our canine relaxin radioimmunoassay (RIA) has now been adapted and validated to measure relaxin in the serum and urine of felids, including domestic and wild species. Moreover, a commercially available canine serum relaxin kit (Witness) Relaxin Kit; Synbiotics, San Diego, CA), has been adapted for reliable detection of relaxin in urine of some felid species. Our porcine relaxin RIA has also been utilized to investigate the role of relaxin in reproductive processes of the spotted hyena, a species in which the female fetuses are severely masculinized in utero. Indeed, this species might well now be extinct were it not for the timely secretion of relaxin to enable copulation and birth of young through the clitoris. Additional studies have suggested relaxin may be a useful marker of pregnancy in the northern fur seal and the maned wolf (the former species has been designated as "depleted" and the latter as "near threatened"). Given appropriate immunoassay reagents, relaxin determination in body fluids thus provides a powerful tool for conservationists and biologists investigating reproduction in a wide variety of endangered and exotic species.

  10. Preparation of biologically active 32P-labeled human relaxin. Displaceable binding to rat uterus, cervix, and brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osheroff, P.L.; Ling, V.T.; Vandlen, R.L.; Cronin, M.J.; Lofgren, J.A.


    Relaxin is a member of the insulin family of polypeptide hormones and is known to exert its biological effects on various parts of the mammalian reproductive system. Biologically active human relaxin has been chemically synthesized based on the nucleotide sequence obtained from an ovarian cDNA clone. In the present study synthetic human relaxin was radiolabled by phosphorylation with cAMP-dependent protein kinase and [gamma-32P]ATP to a specific activity of 5000 Ci/mmol. The phosphorylated relaxin was purified on cation exchange high performance liquid chromatography and was shown to co-migrate with relaxin on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Mass spectrometry revealed a single phosphorylated site on the B chain of relaxin. The 32P-relaxin was able to bind to a goat anti-relaxin antibody, and this binding could be displaced by unlabeled relaxin in a concentration-dependent manner. A comparison of the concentration responses of cellular cAMP production stimulated by relaxin and phosphorylated relaxin in a primary human uterine cell line showed that phosphorylation did not affect the in vitro biological efficacy of relaxin. This made it suitable for in situ autoradiographic localization of relaxin binding sites in rat uterine, cervical, and brain tissue sections. Displacement of the binding of 100 pM 32P-relaxin by 100, 10, and 3 nM unlabeled relaxin, but not by 100 nM insulin, insulin-like growth factor-I, and an insulin-like growth factor-I analog, demonstrated the high affinity and specificity of such binding. We conclude that 32P-labeled human relaxin is biologically and immunologically active and that this novel probe binds reversibly and with high affinity to classical (e.g. uterus) and unpredicted (e.g. brain) tissues

  11. Activation of Relaxin Family Receptor 1 from different mammalian species by relaxin peptide and small molecule agonist ML290

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    Zaohua eHuang


    Full Text Available Relaxin peptide (RLN, which signals through the relaxin family peptide 1 (RXFP1 GPCR receptor, has shown therapeutic effects in an acute heart failure clinical trial. We have identified a small molecule agonist of human RXFP1, ML290; however, it does not activate the mouse receptor. To find a suitable animal model for ML290 testing and to gain mechanistic insights into the interaction of various ligands with RXFP1, we have cloned rhesus macaque, pig, rabbit, and guinea pig RXFP1s and analyzed their activation by RLN and ML290. HEK293T cells expressing macaque or pig RXFP1 responded to relaxin and ML290 treatment as measured by an increase of cAMP production. Guinea pig RXFP1 responded to relaxin but had very low response to ML290 treatment only at highest concentrations used. The rabbit RXFP1 amino acid sequence was the most divergent, with a number of unique substitutions within the ectodomain and the 7-transmembrane domain (7TM. Two splice variants of rabbit RXFP1 derived through alternative splicing of the forth exon were identified. In contrast to the other species, rabbit RXFP1s were activated by ML290, but not with human, pig, mouse, or rabbit relaxins. Using FLAG-tagged constructs, we have shown that both rabbit RXFP1 variants are expressed on the cell surface. No binding of human Eu-labeled relaxin to rabbit RXFP1 was detected, suggesting that in this species RXFP1 might be non-functional. We used chimeric rabbit-human and guinea pig-human constructs to identify regions important for RLN or ML290 receptor activation. Chimeras with the human ectodomain and rabbit 7TM domain were activated by RLN, whereas substitution of part of the guinea pig 7TM domain with the human sequence only partially restored ML290 activation, confirming the allosteric mode of action for the two ligands. Our data demonstrate that macaque and pig models can be used for ML290 testing.

  12. Relaxin 2 fails to lower intraocular pressure and to dilate retinal vessels in rats. (United States)

    Hampel, Ulrike; Träger, Katharina; Liu, Hanhan; Teister, Julia; Grus, Franz; Prokosch-Willing, Verena


    Recently, the vasodilator relaxin 2 has been introduced as a treatment for acute heart failure. However, its role on vessels of the eye and intraocular pressure (IOP) remains unclear though it has been hypothesized to induce a decrease IOP after intramuscular injection in humans. We aimed to test whether the hormone relaxin 2 lowers IOP and dilates retinal vessels in animals. The IOP of female Sprague-Dawley rats before and after application of relaxin 2 was measured using an Icare Tonolab device calibrated for rats. Recombinant human relaxin 2 in phosphate-buffered saline with 0.1% bovine serum albumin was either applied as eye drops (1000, 2000 or 3000 ng/ml), injected intravitreally (500 ng/ml) or intravenously (13.3 μg/kg body weight). Retinal vessel thickness was monitored using infrared fundus images compiled with optical coherence tomography (Heidelberg Engineering) before and several time points after application of relaxin 2. Neither topical nor intravitreous or intravenous application of relaxin 2 lowered the IOP or changed the arterial or venous vessel diameter after 1 or 3 h after application. Now that relaxin 2 is more easily available, the hormone came again into focus as a potential glaucoma therapeutic. However, our study in rats could not support the hypothesis that relaxin 2 lowers IOP or dilates retinal vessels.

  13. Relaxin of prostatic origin might be linked to perineal hernia formation in dogs. (United States)

    Niebauer, Gert W; Shibly, Sarina; Seltenhammer, Monika; Pirker, Armin; Brandt, Sabine


    Perineal hernia occurs spontaneously in older male dogs after idiopathic weakening of the pelvic diaphragm. Hernias invariably contain cystic paraprostatic tissues. Castration reduces incidence and recurrence after surgical repair. Although cystic prostatic hypertrophy is a consistent feature in patients with perineal hernia, an endocrine link of the disease to steroid sex hormones has not been demonstrated. Employing immunohistochemistry, we found intense relaxin immunoreactivity in dogs with perineal hernia within the epithelia of hypertrophic prostates and in periprostatic tissues. The prostate of normal dogs exhibited similar but less intense relaxin staining. In neutered dogs with prostatic atrophy, relaxin immunostaining was weak or absent. Periprostatic cysts highly expressed relaxin precursors in the fluid phase as shown by SDS-gel electrophoresis. Relaxin of prostatic origin, therefore, is possibly a local factor in connective tissue weakening and subsequently in perineal hernia formation.

  14. Chemical synthesis of a Zwitterhormon, insulaxin, and of a relaxin-like bombyxin derivative. (United States)

    Büllesbach, E E; Steinetz, B G; Schwabe, C


    The structural motif of insulin and relaxin is frequently seen in molecules of divergent functions and origins. The insect developmental factor bombyxin, the relaxin-like factor from Leydig cells, and the insulin-like factor 4 (INSL4) all are made of two disulfide-linked chains and have one disulfide bond within the A-chain. The polyclonal antibody R6, which was raised against porcine relaxin, reacts with a wide variety of naturally occurring relaxins from primates, marine and terrestrial mammals, and elasmobranchs but does not recognize insulin. The antibody binds mainly to the arginines that occur in the N, N+4 positions in the B-chains of all relaxins which also constitute the receptor-binding site. The receptor-binding haptens were incorporated by total synthesis into human despentapeptide insulin and bombyxin II, a developmental factor from the silk moth Bombyx mori. In the process the insect factor became a perfect antigen for the anti-relaxin antibody, whereas the human insulin was transformed into a bona fide relaxin. The conversion was affected by changing four critical residues so that the insulin activity was retained to the extent of 10% of the original level. This, to the best of our knowledge, is the first designer protein to incorporate two unrelated biological functions in one primary sequence, and we are therefore proposing that, analogous to zwitterion, the generic name "Zwitterhormon" (German spelling) be used for this type of construct.

  15. Relaxin-related gene expression differs between anadromous and stream-resident stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) following seawater transfer. (United States)

    Kusakabe, Makoto; Ishikawa, Asano; Kitano, Jun


    Relaxin (RLN) is a hormone that was originally identified as a regulator of pregnancy and reproduction. However, recent mammalian studies have demonstrated that relaxins also have potent osmoregulatory actions. In mammals, six relaxin family peptides have been identified: RLN1/2, RLN3, insulin-like peptide (INSL) 3, INSL4, INSL5, and INSL6. Previous genome database searches have revealed that teleosts also possess multiple relaxin family genes. However, the functions of these relaxin family peptides in teleosts remain unclear. In order to gain insight into the osmoregulatory functions of teleost relaxins, we studied the relaxin family peptides in euryhaline three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus), which have diversified into a variety of ecotypes. Rln3a, rln3b, and rln transcripts were abundant in the stickleback brain, whereas insl5b transcript levels were highest in the intestine among tissues. Seawater challenge experiments showed that transcript levels of rln3a, rln3b, and rln in the brain changed significantly after seawater transfer. Particularly, rln3b showed different patterns of temporal changes between anadromous and stream-resident morphs. The transcript levels of relaxin family peptide receptors, rxfp1, rxfp2b, rxfp3-2a, and rxfp3-2b, did not exhibit substantial changes in the brain, although these were constantly higher in the anadromous morph than the stream-resident morph. These results suggest that stickleback relaxin systems are differentially regulated by salinity signals, at least at the transcriptional level, and anadromous and stream-resident morphs differ in relaxin signaling pathways. The differences in the expression of relaxin-related genes between these two morphs provide a foundation for further exploration of the osmoregulatory function of relaxins in teleosts. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Relaxin's induction of metalloproteinases is associated with the loss of collagen and glycosaminoglycans in synovial joint fibrocartilaginous explants (United States)

    Naqvi, Tabassum; Duong, Trang T; Hashem, Gihan; Shiga, Momotoshi; Zhang, Qin; Kapila, Sunil


    Diseases of specific fibrocartilaginous joints are especially common in women of reproductive age, suggesting that female hormones contribute to their etiopathogenesis. Previously, we showed that relaxin dose-dependently induces matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression in isolated joint fibrocartilaginous cells. Here we determined the effects of relaxin with or without β-estradiol on the modulation of MMPs in joint fibrocartilaginous explants, and assessed the contribution of these proteinases to the loss of collagen and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) in this tissue. Fibrocartilaginous discs from temporomandibular joints of female rabbits were cultured in medium alone or in medium containing relaxin (0.1 ng/ml) or β-estradiol (20 ng/ml) or relaxin plus β-estradiol. Additional experiments were done in the presence of the MMP inhibitor GM6001 or its control analog. After 48 hours of culture, the medium was assayed for MMPs and the discs were analyzed for collagen and GAG concentrations. Relaxin and β-estradiol plus relaxin induced the MMPs collagenase-1 and stromelysin-1 in fibrocartilaginous explants – a finding similar to that which we observed in pubic symphysis fibrocartilage, but not in articular cartilage explants. The induction of these proteinases by relaxin or β-estradiol plus relaxin was accompanied by a loss of GAGs and collagen in joint fibrocartilage. None of the hormone treatments altered the synthesis of GAGs, suggesting that the loss of this matrix molecule probably resulted from increased matrix degradation. Indeed, fibrocartilaginous explants cultured in the presence of GM6001 showed an inhibition of relaxin-induced and β-estradiol plus relaxin-induced collagenase and stromelysin activities to control baseline levels that were accompanied by the maintenance of collagen or GAG content at control levels. These findings show for the first time that relaxin has degradative effects on non-reproductive synovial joint fibrocartilaginous tissue and

  17. Elucidation of relaxin-3 binding interactions in the extracellular loops of RXFP3

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    Ross eBathgate


    Full Text Available Relaxin-3 is a highly conserved neuropeptide in vertebrate species and binds to the Class A G protein-coupled receptor RXFP3. Relaxin-3 is involved in a wide range of behaviours, including feeding, stress responses, arousal and cognitive processes and therefore targeting of RXFP3 may be relevant for a range of neurological diseases. Structural knowledge of RXFP3 and its interaction with relaxin-3 would both increase our understanding of ligand recognition in GPCRs that respond to protein ligands and enable acceleration of the design of drug leads. In this study we have used comparative sequence analysis, molecular modelling and receptor mutagenesis to investigate the binding site of the native ligand human relaxin-3 (H3 relaxin on the human RXFP3 receptor. Previous structure function studies have demonstrated that arginine residues in the H3 relaxin B-chain are critical for binding interactions with the receptor extracellular loops and/or N-terminal domain. Hence we have concentrated on determining the ligand interacting sites in these domains and have focussed on glutamic (E and aspartic acid (D residues in these regions that may form electrostatic interactions with these critical arginine residues. Conserved D/E residues identified from vertebrate species multiple sequence alignments were mutated to Ala in human RXFP3 to test the effect of loss of amino acid side chain on receptor binding using both Eu-labelled relaxin-3 agonist. Finally data from mutagenesis experiments have been used in ligand docking simulations to a homology model of human RXFP3 based on the peptide-bound CXCR4 structure. These studies have resulted in a model of the relaxin-3 interaction with RXFP3 which will inform further interrogation of the agonist binding site.

  18. Relaxin as a natural agent for vascular health

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    Daniele Bani


    Full Text Available Daniele BaniDepartment of Anatomy, Histology and Forensic Medicine, Sect. Histology, University of Florence, ItalyAbstract: Hypertension, atherothrombosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and renal failure are the main manifestations of cardiovascular disease (CVD, the leading cause of death and disability in developed countries. Continuing insight into the pathophysiology of CVD can allow identification of effective therapeutic strategies to reduce the occurrence of death and/or severe disabilities. In this context, a healthy endothelium is deemed crucial to proper functioning and maintenance of anatomical integrity of the vascular system in many organs. Of note, epidemiologic studies indicate that the incidence of CVD in women is very low until menopause and increases sharply thereafter. The loss of protection against CVD in post-menopausal women has been chiefly attributed to ovarian steroid deficiency. However, besides steroids, the ovary also produces the peptide hormone relaxin (RLX, which provides potent vasoactive effects which render it the most likely candidate as the elusive physiological shield against CVD in fertile women. In particular, RLX has a specific relaxant effect on peripheral and coronary vasculature, exerted by the stimulation of endogenous nitric oxide (NO generation by cells of the vascular wall, and can induce angiogenesis. Moreover, RLX inhibits the activation of inflammatory leukocytes and platelets, which play a key role in CVD. Experimental studies performed in vascular and blood cell in vitro and in animal models of vascular dysfunction, as well as pioneer clinical observations, have provided evidence that RLX can prevent and/or improve CVD, thus offering background to clinical trials aimed at exploring the broad therapeutic potential of human recombinant RLX as a new cardiovascular drug.Keywords: relaxin, blood vessels, endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle, nitric oxide

  19. Relaxin family peptides in the male reproductive system--a critical appraisal. (United States)

    Ivell, Richard; Kotula-Balak, Malgorzata; Glynn, Danielle; Heng, Kee; Anand-Ivell, Ravinder


    The human genome project has identified, besides ovarian relaxin (RLN), six other relaxin-like molecules (RLN3, H1-RLN, INSL3-6), most of which appear to be expressed in the testis and/or male reproductive system, together with four different G-protein-coupled receptors responsive to one or other of these peptides. Earlier work on relaxin in the male assumed the simplistic hypothesis of only a single relaxin-like entity. This review systematically examines the expression and physiology of relaxin-like molecules in the male reproductive system in order to reappraise the importance of this hormone system for male reproductive function. Although there are important species differences, only INSL3 and INSL6 appear to be generally expressed at a moderately high level within the testis, whereas ovarian RLN is consistently a major secretory product of the prostate epithelium. However, all members of this relaxin-like family appear to be expressed also at a low level in different organs of the male reproductive system, suggesting possible autocrine/paracrine effects. The four receptors (RXFP1-4) for these peptides are also expressed to differing levels in both somatic and seminiferous compartments of the testis and in the prostate, supporting relevant functions for most members of this interesting peptide family. Recent studies of relaxin family peptides in prostate pathology highlight their functional importance in the clinical context as potential causative, diagnostic and therapeutic agents and warrant more specific and detailed studies of their roles also in regard to male fertility and other aspects of male reproductive function.

  20. The relaxin family peptide receptors and their ligands : new developments and paradigms in the evolution from jawless fish to mammals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yegorov, Sergey; Bogerd, Jan; Good, Sara V


    Relaxin family peptide receptors (Rxfps) and their ligands, relaxin (Rln) and insulin-like (Insl) peptides, are broadly implicated in the regulation of reproductive and neuroendocrine processes in mammals. Most placental mammals harbour genes for four receptors, namely rxfp1, rxfp2, rxfp3 and rxfp4.

  1. Expression profiles of relaxin family peptides and their receptors indicate their influence on spermatogenesis in the domestic cat (Felis catus). (United States)

    Braun, B C; Müller, K; Jewgenow, K


    Disturbed spermatogenesis is a common problem in felines. Studying spermatogenesis in the domestic cat can improve the understanding of the biological background and help to counteract fertility problems in other feline species. Here, we analyzed 3 relaxin family peptides (relaxin, relaxin-3, and INSL3) and their receptors (RXFP1, RXFP2, and RXFP3) as potential spermatogenic factors involving their expression in the testis at different stages of its development. It may be concluded from its stage-dependent expression that relaxin, together with RXFP1, appears to be involved in the first stage of spermatogenesis, whereas relaxin-3 via binding to RXFP3 influences spermiogenesis. Furthermore, correlations were observed between relaxin, relaxin-3, RXFP1, RXFP2 and RXFP3 messenger RNA expression, and the relative numbers of haploid cells in testes. The peptide INSL3 was highly expressed at all testis development stages. Because of the low and stage-independent expression of its receptor RXFP2, an auto- and/or paracrine function of INSL3 in spermatogenesis seems unlikely. In the adult testis, messenger RNA expression of relaxin, RXFP1, and RXFP3 predominantly occurs in the tubular testis compartment, whereas INLS3 is mainly expressed in the interstitium. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Male Seminal Relaxin Contributes to Induction of the Post-mating Cytokine Response in the Female Mouse Uterus

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    Danielle J. Glynn


    Full Text Available The hormone relaxin is important in female reproduction for embryo implantation, cardiovascular function, and during labor and lactation. Relaxin is also synthesized in males by organs of the male tract. We hypothesized that relaxin might be one component of seminal plasma responsible for eliciting the female cytokine response induced in the uterus at mating. When recombinant relaxin was injected into the uterus of wild-type (Rln+/+ mice at estrus, it evoked the production of Cxcl1 mRNA and its secreted protein product CXCL1 in four of eight animals. Mating experiments were then conducted using mice with a null mutation in the relaxin gene (Rln−/− mice. qRT-PCR analysis of mRNA expression in wild-type females showed diminished uterine expression of several cytokine and chemokine genes in the absence of male relaxin. Similar differences were also noted comparing Rln−/− and Rln+/+ females mated to wild-type males. Quantification of uterine luminal fluid cytokine content confirmed that male relaxin provokes the production of CXCL10 and CSF3 in Rln+/+ females. Differences were also seen comparing Rln−/− and Rln+/+ females mated with Rln−/− males for CXCL1, CSF3, and CCL5, implying that endogenous relaxin in females might prime the uterus to respond appropriately to seminal fluid at coitus. Finally, pan-leukocyte CD45 mRNA was increased in wild-type matings compared to other combinations, implying that male and female relaxin may trigger leukocyte expansion in the uterus. We conclude that male and/or female relaxin may be important in activating the uterine cytokine/chemokine network required to initiate maternal immune adaptation to pregnancy.

  3. Plasma progranulin and relaxin levels in PCOS women with normal BMI compared to control healthy subjects

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    Samad Akbarzadeh


    Full Text Available Background: Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS is the most commonly encountered endocrine gland disease affecting 5-10 present of women at their reproductive age. This syndrome is associated with type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, and obesity. Progranulin and relaxin are adipokins that are related with carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Due to limited data about progranulin and relaxin plasma levels´ in women with PCOS and normal BMI, this study was conducted. Material and Methods: This study is a cross-sectional. During the study 39 women with PCOS and BMI< 25 on the basis of Rotterdam criteria were chosen as the patient group and 38 healthy women were selected as the control group. The concentration of progranulin and relaxin were measured by ELISA technique. Results: The difference in Plasma concentration of progranulin and relaxin, and also some of the biochemical parameters in the patient group versus to the control group was not significant, but there was significant difference in the concentrations of VLDL, triglyceride (p=0.046, insulin (p=0.016, HOMA-IR (p=0.015, testosterone (p=0.01, and DHEAS (p=0.034 in the patients group compared to the control group. Conclusion: In this study, the difference in Plasma concentration of progranulin and relaxin in the patient group compared to the control group was not significant. It could be inferred that lack of change in plasma level of progranulin and relaxin in women with PCOS is related to BMI<25 and FBS<110. Moreoverestosterones, insulin, DHEAS and HOMA-IR changes could be better predictors of PCOS and its associated diabetes.

  4. A vasoactive role for endogenous relaxin in mesenteric arteries of male mice.

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    Chen Huei Leo

    Full Text Available The peptide hormone relaxin has striking effects on the vascular system. Specifically, endogenous relaxin treatment reduces myogenic reactivity through nitric oxide (NO-mediated vasorelaxation and increases arterial compliance in small resistance arteries. However, less is known about the vascular roles of endogenous relaxin, particularly in males. Therefore, we used male wild-type (Rln+/+ and relaxin knockout (Rln-/- mice to test the hypothesis that passive wall properties and vascular reactivity in mesenteric arteries would be compromised in Rln-/- mice. Passive compliance was determined in arteries (n=8-9 mounted on a pressure myograph and in Ca2+-free Krebs containing 2 mM EGTA. Passive volume compliance was significantly (P=0.01 decreased in the mesenteric arteries of Rln-/- mice. Vascular reactivity was assessed using wire myography. In mesenteric arteries (n=5 of Rln-/- mice, there was a significant (P<0.03 increase in sensitivity to the vasoconstrictors phenylephrine and thromboxane-mimetic U41669. This enhanced responsiveness to vasoconstrictors was abolished by endothelial denudation, and attributed to impaired NO and prostanoid pathways in Rln-/- mice. Sensitivity to the endothelial agonist acetylcholine was significantly (n=7-9, P ≤ 0.03 decreased, and this was abolished in the presence of the cyclooxygenase inhibitor, indomethacin (2 µM. This indicates that prostanoid vasoconstrictor pathways were upregulated in the mesenteric arteries of Rln-/- mice. In summary, we demonstrate endothelial dysfunction and impaired arterial wall remodeling in male mice deficient in relaxin. Thus, our results highlight a role for endogenous relaxin in the maintenance of normal mesenteric artery structure and function in males.

  5. An optimized chemical synthesis of human relaxin-2. (United States)

    Barlos, Kostas K; Gatos, Dimitrios; Vasileiou, Zoe; Barlos, Kleomenis


    Human gene 2 relaxin (RLX) is a member of the insulin superfamily and is a multi-functional factor playing a vital role in pregnancy, aging, fibrosis, cardioprotection, vasodilation, inflammation, and angiogenesis. RLX is currently applied in clinical trials to cure among others acute heart failure, fibrosis, and preeclampsia. The synthesis of RLX by chemical methods is difficult because of the insolubility of its B-chain and the required laborious and low yielding site-directed combination of its A (RLXA) and B (RLXB) chains. We report here that oxidation of the Met(25) residue of RLXB improves its solubility, allowing its effective solid-phase synthesis and application in random interchain combination reactions with RLXA. Linear Met(O)(25)-RLX B-chain (RLXBO) reacts with a mixture of isomers of bicyclic A-chain (bcRLXA) giving exclusively the native interchain combination. Applying this method Met(O)(25)-RLX (RLXO) was obtained in 62% yield and was easily converted to RLX in 78% yield, by reduction with ammonium iodide. Copyright (c) 2010 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. Relaxin-3/RXFP3 signaling and neuroendocrine function – A perspective on extrinsic hypothalamic control

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    Despina E Ganella


    Full Text Available Complex neural circuits within the hypothalamus that govern essential autonomic processes and associated behaviors signal using amino acid and monoamine transmitters and a variety of neuropeptide (hormone modulators, often via G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs and associated cellular pathways. Relaxin-3 is a recently identified neuropeptide that is highly conserved throughout evolution. Neurons expressing relaxin-3 are located in the brainstem, but broadly innervate the entire limbic system including the hypothalamus. Extensive anatomical data in rodents and non-human primate, and recent regulatory and functional data, suggest relaxin-3 signaling via its cognate GPCR, RXFP3, has a broad range of effects on neuroendocrine function associated with stress responses, feeding and metabolism, motivation and reward, and possibly sexual behavior and reproduction. Therefore, this article aims to highlight the growing appreciation of the relaxin-3/RXFP3 system as an important ‘extrinsic’ regulator of the neuroendocrine axis by reviewing its neuroanatomy and its putative roles in arousal-, stress- and feeding-related behaviors and links to associated neural substrates and signaling networks. Current evidence identifies RXFP3 as a potential therapeutic target for treatment of neuroendocrine disorders and related behavioral dysfunction.

  7. Examination of relaxin and its receptors expression in pig gametes and embryos

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    Bathgate Ross A


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Relaxin is a small peptide also known as pregnancy hormone in many mammals. It is synthesized by both male and female tissues, and its secretions are found in various body fluids such as plasma serum, ovarian follicular fluid, utero-oviduct secretions, and seminal plasma of many mammals, including pigs. However, the presence and effects of relaxin in porcine gametes and embryos are still not well-known. The purpose of this study was to assess the presence of relaxin and its receptors RXFP1 and RXFP2 in pig gametes and embryos. Methods Immature cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs were aspirated from sows' ovaries collected at the abattoir. After in vitro-maturation, COCs were in vitro-fertilized and cultured. For studies, immature and mature COCs were separately collected, and oocytes were freed from their surrounding cumulus cells. Denuded oocytes, cumulus cells, mature boar spermatozoa, zygotes, and embryos (cleaved and blastocysts were harvested for temporal and spatial gene expression studies. Sections of ovary, granulosa and neonatal porcine uterine cells were also collected to use as controls. Results Using both semi-quantitative and quantitative PCRs, relaxin transcripts were not detected in all tested samples, while RXFP1 and RXFP2 mRNA were present. Both receptor gene products were found at higher levels in oocytes compared to cumulus cells, irrespective of the maturation time. Cleaved-embryos contained higher levels of RXFP2 mRNA, whereas, blastocysts were characterized by a higher RXFP1 mRNA content. Using western-immunoblotting or in situ immunofluorescence, relaxin and its receptor proteins were detected in all samples. Their fluorescence intensities were consistently more important in mature oocytes than immature ones. The RXFP1 and RXFP2 signal intensities were mostly located in the plasma membrane region, while the relaxin ones appeared homogeneously distributed within the oocytes and embryonic cells. Furthermore

  8. Relaxin suppresses atrial fibrillation in aged rats by reversing fibrosis and upregulating Na+ channels. (United States)

    Henry, Brian L; Gabris, Beth; Li, Qiao; Martin, Brian; Giannini, Marianna; Parikh, Ashish; Patel, Divyang; Haney, Jamie; Schwartzman, David S; Shroff, Sanjeev G; Salama, Guy


    Atrial fibrillation (AF) contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality in elderly patients and has been correlated with enhanced age-dependent atrial fibrosis. Reversal of atrial fibrosis has been proposed as therapeutic strategy to suppress AF. To test the ability of relaxin to reverse age-dependent atrial fibrosis and suppress AF. Aged F-344 rats (24 months old) were treated with subcutaneous infusion of vehicle or relaxin (0.4 mg/kg/day) for 2 weeks. Rat hearts were excised, perfused on a Langendorff apparatus, and stained with voltage and Ca(2+) indicator dyes. Optical mapping and programmed electrical stimulation was used to test arrhythmia vulnerability and changes in electrophysiological characteristics. Changes in protein expression and Na(+) current density (INa) were measured by tissue immunofluorescence and whole-cell patch clamp technique. In aged rats, sustained AF was readily induced with a premature pulse (n = 7/8) and relaxin treatment suppressed sustained AF by a premature impulse or burst pacing (n = 1/6) (P atrial action potential conduction velocity and decreased atrial fibrosis. Relaxin treatment increased Nav1.5 expression (n = 6; 36% ± 10%) and decreased total collagen and collagen I (n = 5-6; 55%-66% ± 15%) in aged atria (P atrial INa by 46% ± 4% (n = 12-13/group, P atrial conduction velocity by decreasing atrial fibrosis and increasing INa. These data provide compelling evidence that relaxin may serve as an effective therapy to manage AF in geriatric patients by reversing fibrosis and modulating cardiac ionic currents. Copyright © 2016 Heart Rhythm Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Comparative distribution of relaxin-3 inputs and calcium-binding protein-positive neurons in rat amygdala

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    Fabio N Santos


    Full Text Available The neural circuits involved in mediating complex behaviors are being rapidly elucidated using various newly developed and powerful anatomical and molecular techniques, providing insights into the neural basis for anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, and dysfunctional social behaviors. Many of these behaviors and associated physiological processes involve the activation of the amygdala in conjunction with cortical and hippocampal circuits. Ascending subcortical projections provide modulatory inputs to the extended amygdala and its related nodes (or ‘hubs’ within these key circuits. One such input arises from the nucleus incertus (NI in the tegmentum, which sends amino acid- and peptide-containing projections throughout the forebrain. Notably, a distinct population of GABAergic NI neurons expresses the highly-conserved neuropeptide, relaxin-3, and relaxin-3 signaling has been implicated in the modulation of reward/motivation and anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors in rodents via actions within the extended amygdala. Thus, a detailed description of the relaxin-3 innervation of the extended amygdala would provide an anatomical framework for an improved understanding of NI and relaxin-3 modulation of these and other specific amygdala-related functions. Therefore, in this study, we examined the distribution of NI projections and relaxin-3-positive elements (axons/fibers/terminals within the amygdala, relative to the distribution of neurons expressing the calcium-binding proteins, parvalbumin, calretinin and/or calbindin. Anterograde tracer injections into the NI revealed a topographic distribution of NI efferents within the amygdala that was near identical to the distribution of relaxin-3-immunoreactive fibers. Highest densities of anterogradely-labeled elements and relaxin-3-immunoreactive fibers were observed in the medial nucleus of the amygdala, medial divisions of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST and in the endopiriform

  10. Relaxin gene family in teleosts: phylogeny, syntenic mapping, selective constraint, andexpression analysis

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    Glen Peter


    Full Text Available Abstract Background In recent years, the relaxin family of signaling molecules has been shown to play diverse roles in mammalian physiology, but little is known about its diversity or physiology in teleosts, an infraclass of the bony fishes comprising ~ 50% of all extant vertebrates. In this paper, 32 relaxin family sequences were obtained by searching genomic and cDNA databases from eight teleost species; phylogenetic, molecular evolutionary, and syntenic data analyses were conducted to understand the relationship and differential patterns of evolution of relaxin family genes in teleosts compared with mammals. Additionally, real-time quantitative PCR was used to confirm and assess the tissues of expression of five relaxin family genes in Danio rerio and in situ hybridization used to assess the site-specific expression of the insulin 3-like gene in D. rerio testis. Results Up to six relaxin family genes were identified in each teleost species. Comparative syntenic mapping revealed that fish possess two paralogous copies of human RLN3, which we call rln3a and rln3b, an orthologue of human RLN2, rln, two paralogous copies of human INSL5, insl5a and insl5b, and an orthologue of human INSL3, insl3. Molecular evolutionary analyses indicated that: rln3a, rln3b and rln are under strong evolutionary constraint, that insl3 has been subject to moderate rates of sequence evolution with two amino acids in insl3/INSL3 showing evidence of positively selection, and that insl5b exhibits a higher rate of sequence evolution than its paralogue insl5a suggesting that it may have been neo-functionalized after the teleost whole genome duplication. Quantitative PCR analyses in D. rerio indicated that rln3a and rln3b are expressed in brain, insl3 is highly expressed in gonads, and that there was low expression of both insl5 genes in adult zebrafish. Finally, in situ hybridization of insl3 in D. rerio testes showed highly specific hybridization to interstitial Leydig

  11. Relaxin affects cell organization and early and late stages of spermatogenesis in a coculture of rat testicular cells. (United States)

    Pimenta, M T; Francisco, R A R; Silva, R P; Porto, C S; Lazari, M F M


    Relaxin and its receptor RXFP1 are co-expressed in Sertoli cells, and relaxin can stimulate proliferation of Sertoli cells. In this study, we investigated a role of relaxin in spermatogenesis, using a short-term culture of testicular cells of the rat that allowed differentiation of spermatogonia to spermatids. Sertoli, germ, and peritubular myoid cells were the predominant cell types in the culture. Sertoli and germ cells expressed RXFP1. Cultures were incubated without (control) or with 0.5% fetal bovine serum (FBS) or 100 ng/mL H2 relaxin (RLN) for 2 days. Cell organization, number, and differentiation were analyzed after 2 (D2), 5 (D5) or 8 (D8) days of culturing. Although the proportion of germ cells decayed from D2 to D5, the relative contribution of HC, 1C, 2C, and 4C germ cell populations remained constant in the control group during the whole culture. RLN did not affect the proportion of germ cell populations compared with control, but increased gene and/or protein expression of the undifferentiated and differentiated spermatogonia markers PLZF and c-KIT, and of the post-meiotic marker Odf2 in D5. RLN favored organization of cells in tubule-like structures, the arrangement of myoid cells around the tubules, arrangement of c-KIT-positive spermatogonia at the basal region of the tubules, and expression of the cell junction protein β-catenin close to the plasma membrane region. Knockdown of relaxin with small interfering RNA (siRNA) reduced expression of β-catenin at the cell junctions, and shifted its expression to the nucleus. We propose that relaxin may affect spermatogenesis by modulating spermatogonial self renewal and favoring cell contact. © 2015 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology.

  12. Relaxin-3 receptor (RXFP3 signalling mediates stress-related alcohol preference in mice.

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    Andrew W Walker

    Full Text Available Stressful life events are causally linked with alcohol use disorders (AUDs, providing support for a hypothesis that alcohol consumption is aimed at stress reduction. We have previously shown that expression of relaxin-3 mRNA in rat brain correlates with alcohol intake and that central antagonism of relaxin-3 receptors (RXFP3 prevents stress-induced reinstatement of alcohol-seeking. Therefore the objectives of these studies were to investigate the impact of Rxfp3 gene deletion in C57BL/6J mice on baseline and stress-related alcohol consumption. Male wild-type (WT and Rxfp3 knockout (KO (C57/B6JRXFP3TM1/DGen littermate mice were tested for baseline saccharin and alcohol consumption and preference over water in a continuous access two-bottle free-choice paradigm. Another cohort of mice was subjected to repeated restraint followed by swim stress to examine stress-related alcohol preference. Hepatic alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase activity was assessed in mice following chronic alcohol intake and in naive controls. WT and Rxfp3 KO mice had similar baseline saccharin and alcohol preference, and hepatic alcohol processing. However, Rxfp3 KO mice displayed a stress-induced reduction in alcohol preference that was not observed in WT littermates. Notably, this phenotype, once established, persisted for at least six weeks after cessation of stress exposure. These findings suggest that in mice, relaxin-3/RXFP3 signalling is involved in maintaining high alcohol preference during and after stress, but does not appear to strongly regulate the primary reinforcing effects of alcohol.

  13. Synthesis of fluorescent analogues of relaxin family peptides and their preliminary in vitro and in vivo characterization

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    Linda eChan


    Full Text Available Relaxin, a heterodimeric polypeptide hormone, is a key regulator of collagen metabolism and multiple vascular control pathways in humans and rodents. Its actions are mediated via its cognate G-protein-coupled receptor, RXFP1 although it also ‘pharmacologically’ activates RXFP2, the receptor for the related, insulin-like peptide 3 (INSL3, which has specific actions on reproduction and bone metabolism. Therefore, experimental tools to facilitate insights into the distinct biological actions of relaxin and INSL3 are required, particularly for studies of tissues containing both RXFP1 and RXFP2. Here, we chemically functionalized human (H2 relaxin, the RXFP1-selective relaxin analogue H2:A(4-24(F23A, and INSL3 to accommodate a fluorophore without marked reduction in binding or activation propensity. Chemical synthesis of the two chains for each peptide was followed by sequential regioselective formation of their three disulfide bonds. Click chemistry conjugation of Cy5.5 at the B-chain N-terminus, with conservation of the disulfide bonds, yielded the analogues displaying appropriate selective binding affinity and ability to activate RXFP1 and/or RXFP2 in vitro. The in vivo biological activity of Cy5.5-H2 relaxin and Cy5.5-H2:A(4-24(F23A was confirmed in mice, as acute icv infusion of these peptides (but not Cy5.5-INSL3 stimulated water drinking, an established behavioral response elicited by central RXFP1 activation. The central distribution of Cy5.5-conjugated peptides was examined in mice killed 30 min after infusion, revealing fluorescence within brain tissue near-adjacent to the cerebral ventricle walls relative to deeper brain areas. These data will aid the interpretation of behavioral studies. Production of fluorophore-conjugated relaxin family peptides will facilitate future pharmacological studies to probe the function of H2 relaxin/RXFP1 and INSL3/RXFP2 signaling in vivo while tracking their distribution following central or peripheral

  14. Secretory overexpression and isotopic labeling of the chimeric relaxin family peptide R3/I5 in Pichia pastoris. (United States)

    Guo, Yu-Qi; Wu, Qing-Ping; Shao, Xiao-Xia; Shen, Ting; Liu, Ya-Li; Xu, Zeng-Guang; Guo, Zhan-Yun


    Relaxin family peptides are a group of peptide hormones with divergent biological functions. Mature relaxin family peptides are typically composed of two polypeptide chains with three disulfide linkages, rendering their preparation a challenging task. In the present study, we established an efficient approach for preparation of the chimeric relaxin family peptide R3/I5 through secretory overexpression in Pichia pastoris and in vitro enzymatic maturation. A designed single-chain R3/I5 precursor containing the B-chain of human relaxin-3 and the A-chain of human INSL5 was overexpressed in PichiaPink strain 1 by high-density fermentation in a two-liter fermenter, and approximately 200 mg of purified precursor was obtained from one liter of the fermentation supernatant. We also developed an economical approach for preparation of the uniformly (15)N-labeled R3/I5 precursor by culturing in shaking flasks, and approximately 15 mg of purified (15)N-labeled precursor was obtained from one liter of the culture supernatant. After purification by cation ion-exchange chromatography and reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography, the R3/I5 precursor was converted to the mature two-chain form by sequential treatment with endoproteinase Lys-C and carboxypeptidase B. The mature R3/I5 peptide had an α-helix-dominated conformation and retained full receptor-binding and receptor activation activities. Thus, Pichia overexpression was an efficient approach for sample preparation and isotopic labeling of the chimeric R3/I5 peptide. This approach could also be extended to the preparation of other relaxin family peptides in future studies.

  15. The subset of patients with acute heart failure able to secrete relaxin-2 at pregnancy concentrations could have a longer survival: a pilot study. (United States)

    Miró, Òscar; Herrero-Puente, Pablo; Prieto, Belén; García-García, María; García-Hernández, Pablo; Martín-Sánchez, Francisco J; Jacob, Javier; Ríos, José; Romero, Rodolfo; Gil, Víctor; Gayat, Étienne; Llorens, Pere; Mebazaa, Alexandre


    To investigate how many patients with acute heart failure (AHF) hypersecrete relaxin-2 concentrations similar to those of pregnant women and determine their long-term outcome. In consecutive AHF patients relaxin-2 was quantified by ELISA sandwich method. Patients were divided into pregnancy-like group (PLG, relaxin-2 ≥ 500 pg/mL) and control group (CG, relaxin-2 10 days), combined endpoint (death, rehospitalisation, ED revisit) 30 days after discharge, and 30-day, one-year and three-year death rates. We included 814 patients [81 (SD = 9) years; 53.0% women] followed during 1.9 (SD 2.8) years; 517 (63.5%) died. Twenty patients (2.5%) formed the PLG (median relaxin-2 = 1459 pg/mL; IQR = 1722) and 794 the CG (median = 26; IQR = 44). There was no interaction with variables included on adjustment (age, sex, ischaemic cardiomyopathy, NT-proBNP, glycaemia, and sodium). PLG patients did not have better short-term secondary endpoints, but did show a significantly lower three-year mortality [OR adjusted  = 0.17 (0.05-0.5), p = 0.003]. The small proportion of AHF patients achieving relaxin-2 concentrations similar to those observed in pregnancy may survive longer.

  16. Relaxin-2 in Cardiometabolic Diseases: Mechanisms of Action and Future Perspectives (United States)

    Feijóo-Bandín, Sandra; Aragón-Herrera, Alana; Rodríguez-Penas, Diego; Portolés, Manuel; Roselló-Lletí, Esther; Rivera, Miguel; González-Juanatey, José R.; Lago, Francisca


    Despite the great effort of the medical community during the last decades, cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death worldwide, increasing their prevalence every year mainly due to our new way of life. In the last years, the study of new hormones implicated in the regulation of energy metabolism and inflammation has raised a great interest among the scientific community regarding their implications in the development of cardiometabolic diseases. In this review, we will summarize the main actions of relaxin, a pleiotropic hormone that was previously suggested to improve acute heart failure and that participates in both metabolism and inflammation regulation at cardiovascular level, and will discuss its potential as future therapeutic target to prevent/reduce cardiovascular diseases. PMID:28868039

  17. Response of the pigeon crop sac to mammotrophic hormones: Comparison between relaxin and prolactin

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    Bani, G.; Sacchi, T.B.; Bigazzi, M.


    The effects of relaxin (RLX), a hormone that has previously been demonstrated to have mammotrophic properties, were studied in the pigeon crop sac, a well-known target organ for mammotrophic and lactogenic hormones, and compared with the effects produced by prolactin (PRL). The two hormones were injected directly over the crop at different doses and the response was evaluated after differing times of exposure. RLX causes a dose-related increase in wet and dry weights and [ 3 H]thymidine and [ 3 H]uridine uptake by the crop mucosa, as well as morphological changes indicating growth and differentiation of the epithelial cells similar to those occurring during physiological activation in incubation and hatching. At the doses assayed, the effects of RLX were nearly identical to those obtained following PRL in the short-term experiments, but differences in functional responses were found in the long-term experiment

  18. G-Protein-coupled receptors as potential drug candidates in preeclampsia: targeting the relaxin/insulin-like family peptide receptor 1 for treatment and prevention. (United States)

    Conrad, Kirk P


    Important roles for G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have been identified in the maternal physiological adaptations to pregnancy and in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. On this basis, GPCRs are potential therapeutic targets for preeclampsia. In this review, vasopressin and apelin are initially considered in this context before the focus on the hormone relaxin and its cognate receptor, the relaxin/insulin-like family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1). Based on both compelling scientific rationale and a promising safety profile, the relaxin ligand-receptor system is comprehensively evaluated as a potential therapeutic endpoint in preeclampsia. The published literature relating to the topic was searched through January 2016 using PubMed. Relaxin is a peptide hormone secreted by the corpus luteum; it circulates in the luteal phase and during pregnancy. Activation of RXFP1 is vasodilatory; thus, relaxin supplementation is expected to at least partly restore the fundamental vasodilatory changes of normal pregnancy, thereby alleviating maternal organ hypoperfusion, which is a major pathogenic manifestation of severe preeclampsia. Specifically, by exploiting its pleiotropic hemodynamic attributes in preeclampsia, relaxin administration is predicted to (i) reverse robust arterial myogenic constriction; (ii) blunt systemic and renal vasoconstriction in response to activation of the angiotensin II receptor, type 1; (iii) mollify the action of endogenous vasoconstrictors on uterine spiral arteries with failed remodeling and retained smooth muscle; (iv) increase arterial compliance; (v) enhance insulin-mediated glucose disposal by promoting skeletal muscle vasodilation and (vi) mobilize and activate bone marrow-derived angiogenic progenitor cells, thereby repairing injured endothelium and improving maternal vascularity in organs such as breast, uterus, pancreas, skin and fat. By exploiting its pleiotropic molecular attributes in preeclampsia, relaxin supplementation is

  19. Relaxin and atrial natriuretic peptide pathways participate in the anti-fibrotic effect of a melon concentrate in spontaneously hypertensive rats

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    Julie Carillon


    Full Text Available Background: In spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR, a model of human essential hypertension, oxidative stress is involved in the development of cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis associated with hypertension. Dietary supplementation with agents exhibiting antioxidant properties could have a beneficial effect in remodeling of the heart. We previously demonstrated a potent anti-hypertrophic effect of a specific melon (Cucumis melo L. concentrate with antioxidant properties in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Relaxin and atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP were reported to reduce collagen deposition and fibrosis progression in various experimental models. Objective: The aim of the present investigation was to test the hypothesis that, beside reduction in oxidative stress, the melon concentrate may act through relaxin, its receptor (relaxin/insulin-like family peptide receptor 1, RXFP1, and ANP in SHR. Design and results: The melon concentrate, given orally during 4 days, reduced cardiomyocyte size (by 25% and totally reversed cardiac collagen content (Sirius red staining in SHR but not in their normotensive controls. Treatment with the melon concentrate lowered cardiac nitrotyrosine-stained area (by 45% and increased by 17–19% the cardiac expression (Western blot of superoxide dismutase (SOD and glutathione peroxidase. In addition, plasma relaxin concentration was normalized while cardiac relaxin (Western blot was lowered in treated SHR. Cardiac relaxin receptor level determined by immunohistochemical analysis increased only in treated SHR. Similarly, the melon concentrate reversed the reduction of plasma ANP concentration and lowered its cardiac expression. Conclusions: The present results demonstrate that reversal of cardiac fibrosis by the melon concentrate involves antioxidant defenses, as well as relaxin and ANP pathways restoration. It is suggested that dietary SOD supplementation could be a useful additional strategy against cardiac hypertrophy

  20. Relaxin-3/RXFP3 networks: an emerging target for the treatment of depression and other neuropsychiatric diseases?

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    Craig M Smith


    Full Text Available Animal and clinical studies of gene-environment interactions have helped elucidate the mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of several mental illnesses including anxiety, depression and schizophrenia; and have led to the discovery of improved treatments. The study of neuropeptides and their receptors is a parallel frontier of neuropsychopharmacology research and has revealed the involvement of several peptide systems in mental illnesses and identified novel targets for their treatment. Relaxin-3 is a newly discovered neuropeptide that binds and activates the G-protein coupled receptor, RXFP3. Existing anatomical and functional evidence suggests relaxin-3 is an arousal transmitter which is highly responsive to environmental stimuli, particularly neurogenic stressors, and in turn modulates behavioral responses to these stressors and alters key neural processes, including hippocampal theta rhythm and associated learning and memory. Here, we review published experimental data on relaxin-3/RXFP3 systems in rodents, and attempt to highlight aspects that are relevant and/or potentially translatable to the aetiology and treatment of major depression and anxiety. Evidence pertinent to autism spectrum and metabolism/eating disorders, or related psychiatric conditions, is also discussed. We also nominate some key experimental studies required to better establish the therapeutic potential of this intriguing neuromodulatory signaling system, including an examination of the impact of RXFP3 agonists and antagonists on the overall activity of distinct or common neural substrates and circuitry that are identified as dysfunctional in these debilitating brain diseases.

  1. Relaxin-3 inputs target hippocampal interneurons and deletion of hilar relaxin-3 receptors in "floxed-RXFP3" mice impairs spatial memory. (United States)

    Haidar, M; Guèvremont, G; Zhang, C; Bathgate, R A D; Timofeeva, E; Smith, C M; Gundlach, A L


    Hippocampus is innervated by γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) "projection" neurons of the nucleus incertus (NI), including a population expressing the neuropeptide, relaxin-3 (RLN3). In studies aimed at gaining an understanding of the role of RLN3 signaling in hippocampus via its G i/o -protein-coupled receptor, RXFP3, we examined the distribution of RLN3-immunoreactive nerve fibres and RXFP3 mRNA-positive neurons in relation to hippocampal GABA neuron populations. RLN3-positive elements were detected in close-apposition with a substantial population of somatostatin (SST)- and GABA-immunoreactive neurons, and a smaller population of parvalbumin- and calretinin-immunoreactive neurons in different hippocampal areas, consistent with the relative distribution patterns of RXFP3 mRNA and these marker transcripts. In light of the functional importance of the dentate gyrus (DG) hilus in learning and memory, and our anatomical data, we examined the possible influence of RLN3/RXFP3 signaling in this region on spatial memory. Using viral-based Cre/LoxP recombination methods and adult mice with a floxed Rxfp3 gene, we deleted Rxfp3 from DG hilar neurons and assessed spatial memory performance and affective behaviors. Following infusions of an AAV (1/2) -Cre-IRES-eGFP vector, Cre expression was observed in DG hilar neurons, including SST-positive cells, and in situ hybridization histochemistry for RXFP3 mRNA confirmed receptor depletion relative to levels in floxed-RXFP3 mice infused with an AAV (1/2) -eGFP (control) vector. RXFP3 depletion within the DG hilus impaired spatial reference memory in an appetitive T-maze task reflected by a reduced percentage of correct choices and increased time to meet criteria, relative to control. In a continuous spontaneous alternation Y-maze task, RXFP3-depleted mice made fewer alternations in the first minute, suggesting impairment of spatial working memory. However, RXFP3-depleted and control mice displayed similar locomotor activity, anxiety

  2. Relaxin inhibits cardiac fibrosis and endothelial–mesenchymal transition via the Notch pathway [Corrigendum

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    Zhou X


    Full Text Available Zhou X, Chen X, Cai JJ, et al. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2015;9: 4599–4611. On page 4600, the product type and source of the relaxin used in these experiments was missed from the ‘Materials and methods’ section. Under the subheading ‘Rat model of cardiac fibrosis’ the second paragraph should read: Rats were randomly divided into five groups (ten per group for treatment: control; myocardial fibrosis (isoproterenol [Iso]; and low-, middle-, and high-dose RLX (0.2, 2, and 20 μg⋅kg-1⋅day-1, respectively. RLX was obtained from Peprotech, Rocky Hill, NJ, USA (product number 130-15. For the Iso-model, on days 1–6, Iso (5 mg⋅kg-1⋅d-1; Sigma-Aldrich Co., St Louis, MO, USA was injected subcutaneously in the rats. In the therapeutic groups, Iso administration was the same as in the Iso-model group, and RLX at different concentrations (0.2, 2.0, and 20 μg⋅kg-1⋅day-1 were injected at the same time as Iso injection and lasted for 6 days, then RLX injection was continued for another 8 days. The same volume of saline was injected for controls.Read the original article.

  3. The relaxin family peptide receptors and their ligands: new developments and paradigms in the evolution from jawless fish to mammals. (United States)

    Yegorov, Sergey; Bogerd, Jan; Good, Sara V


    Relaxin family peptide receptors (Rxfps) and their ligands, relaxin (Rln) and insulin-like (Insl) peptides, are broadly implicated in the regulation of reproductive and neuroendocrine processes in mammals. Most placental mammals harbour genes for four receptors, namely rxfp1, rxfp2, rxfp3 and rxfp4. The number and identity of rxfps in other vertebrates are immensely variable, which is probably attributable to intraspecific variation in reproductive and neuroendocrine regulation. Here, we highlight several interesting, but greatly overlooked, aspects of the rln/insl-rxfp evolutionary history: the ancient origin, recruitment of novel receptors, diverse roles of selection, differential retention and lineage-specific loss of genes over evolutionary time. The tremendous diversity of rln/insl and rxfp genes appears to have arisen from two divergent receptors and one ligand that were duplicated by whole genome duplications (WGD) in early vertebrate evolution, although several genes, notably relaxin in mammals, were also duplicated via small scale duplications. Duplication and loss of genes have varied across lineages: teleosts retained more WGD-derived genes, dominated by those thought to be involved in neuroendocrine regulation (rln3, insl5 and rxfp 3/4 genes), while eutherian mammals witnessed the diversification and rapid evolution of genes involved in reproduction (rln/insl3). Several genes that arose early in evolutionary history were lost in most mammals, but retained in teleosts and, to a lesser extent, in early diverging tetrapods. To elaborate on their evolutionary history, we provide updated phylogenies of the Rxfp1/2 and Rxfp3/4 receptors and their ligands, including new sequences from early diverging vertebrate taxa such as coelacanth, skate, spotted gar, and lamprey. We also summarize the recent progress made towards understanding the functional biology of Rxfps in non-mammalian taxa, providing a new conceptual framework for research on Rxfp signaling across

  4. Sensitivity to Chronic Methamphetamine Administration and Withdrawal in Mice with Relaxin-3/RXFP3 Deficiency. (United States)

    Haidar, Mouna; Lam, Monica; Chua, Berenice E; Smith, Craig M; Gundlach, Andrew L


    Methamphetamine (METH) is a highly addictive psychostimulant, and cessation of use is associated with reduced monoamine signalling, and increased anxiety/depressive states. Neurons expressing the neuropeptide, relaxin-3 (RLN3), and its cognate receptor, RXFP3, constitute a putative 'ascending arousal system', which shares neuroanatomical and functional similarities with serotonin (5-HT)/dorsal raphe and noradrenaline (NA)/locus coeruleus monoamine systems. In light of possible synergistic roles of RLN3 and 5-HT/NA, endogenous RLN3/RXFP3 signalling may compensate for the temporary reduction in monoamine signalling associated with chronic METH withdrawal, which could alter the profile of 'behavioural despair', bodyweight reductions, and increases in anhedonia and anxiety-like behaviours observed following chronic METH administration. In studies to test this theory, Rln3 and Rxfp3 knockout (KO) mice and their wildtype (WT) littermates were injected once daily with saline or escalating doses of METH (2 mg/kg, i.p. on day 1, 4 mg/kg, i.p. on day 2 and 6 mg/kg, i.p. on day 3-10). WT and Rln3 and Rxfp3 KO mice displayed an equivalent sensitivity to behavioural despair (Porsolt swim) during the 2-day METH withdrawal and similar bodyweight reductions on day 3 of METH treatment. Furthermore, during a 3-week period after the cessation of chronic METH exposure, Rln3 KO, Rxfp3 KO and corresponding WT mice displayed similar behavioural responses in paradigms that measured anxiety (light/dark box, elevated plus maze), anhedonia (saccharin preference), and social interaction. These findings indicate that a whole-of-life deficiency in endogenous RLN3/RXFP3 signalling does not markedly alter behavioural sensitivity to chronic METH treatment or withdrawal, but leave open the possibility of a more significant interaction with global or localised manipulations of this peptide system in the adult brain.

  5. Genetic associations of relaxin: preterm birth and premature rupture of fetal membranes. (United States)

    Rocha, Frederico G; Slavin, Thomas P; Li, Dongmei; Tiirikainen, Maarit I; Bryant-Greenwood, Gillian D


    Relaxin H2 (RLN2) is a systemic hormone (sRLN) that is produced by the corpus luteum, whereas decidual RLN (dRLN) acts only locally. Elevated sRLN is associated with spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB) and elevated dRLN with preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM). Associations were sought between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the RLN2 promoter with levels of dRLN and sRLN in Filipino patients with sPTB, PPROM, or normal term delivery. Stringent selection of women with sPTB (n = 20) or PPROM (n = 20) and term control subjects (n = 20) was made from >8000 samples from Filipino patients who delivered at 34-36 weeks' gestation. Twelve SNPs were genotyped on maternal blood, with 9 excluded based on the high linkage disequilibrium or being the same as in the control population. Quantitative immunocytochemistry on parietal decidual tissue was performed (n = 60); sRLN was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in a subset of patients (n = 21). SNP rs4742076 was associated significantly with PPROM (P < .001) and increased expression of dRLN (P < .001). The genotype TT had increased dRLN in PPROM (P < .05). SNP rs3758239 was associated significantly with both PPROM and sPTB (P < .01), and genotype AA had increased dRLN expression (P < .05). The sRLN showed a trend of higher levels in PPROM and sPTB, but was not significant. SNP rs4742076 in the RLN2 promoter was associated with increased dRLN expression and PPROM; SNP rs3758239 was associated with both PPROM and sPTB in these Filipino patients. Specific homozygous genotypes were identified for both SNPs and were shown to be associated with increased dRLN tissue expression. Copyright © 2013 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Relaxin, its receptor (RXFP1), and insulin-like peptide 4 expression through gestation and in placenta accreta. (United States)

    Goh, William; Yamamoto, Sandra Y; Thompson, Karen S; Bryant-Greenwood, Gillian D


    This study was designed to show whether placental relaxin (RLN), its receptor (RXFP1), or insulin-like peptide 4 (INSL4) might have altered expression in patients with placenta accreta. The baseline expression of their genes through gestation (n = 34) was quantitated in the placental basal plate (BP) and villous trophoblast (TR), and compared to their expression in placenta accreta (n = 6). The proteins were also immunolocalized and quantitated in the accreta tissues. The messenger RNAs (mRNAs) of matrix metalloproteinase 9, -2, and tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 were also measured. Results demonstrated that the BP and TR expressed low levels of RLN/RXFP1 and INSL4 through gestation. In accreta, increased RLN gene and protein in BP were associated with antepartum bleeding whereas INSL4 expression decreased throughout the TR. There were no changes in mRNAs for MMPs, but TIMP-1 was increased only in the invasive TR.

  7. GABAergic Neurons in the Rat Medial Septal Complex Express Relaxin-3 Receptor (RXFP3 mRNA

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    Hector Albert-Gascó


    Full Text Available The medial septum (MS complex modulates hippocampal function and related behaviors. Septohippocampal projections promote and control different forms of hippocampal synchronization. Specifically, GABAergic and cholinergic projections targeting the hippocampal formation from the MS provide bursting discharges to promote theta rhythm, or tonic activity to promote gamma oscillations. In turn, the MS is targeted by ascending projections from the hypothalamus and brainstem. One of these projections arises from the nucleus incertus in the pontine tegmentum, which contains GABA neurons that co-express the neuropeptide relaxin-3 (Rln3. Both stimulation of the nucleus incertus and septal infusion of Rln3 receptor agonist peptides promotes hippocampal theta rhythm. The Gi/o-protein-coupled receptor, relaxin-family peptide receptor 3 (RXFP3, is the cognate receptor for Rln3 and identification of the transmitter phenotype of neurons expressing RXFP3 in the septohippocampal system can provide further insights into the role of Rln3 transmission in the promotion of septohippocampal theta rhythm. Therefore, we used RNAscope multiplex in situ hybridization to characterize the septal neurons expressing Rxfp3 mRNA in the rat. Our results demonstrate that Rxfp3 mRNA is abundantly expressed in vesicular GABA transporter (vGAT mRNA- and parvalbumin (PV mRNA-positive GABA neurons in MS, whereas ChAT mRNA-positive acetylcholine neurons lack Rxfp3 mRNA. Approximately 75% of Rxfp3 mRNA-positive neurons expressed vGAT mRNA (and 22% were PV mRNA-positive, while the remaining 25% expressed Rxfp3 mRNA only, consistent with a potential glutamatergic phenotype. Similar proportions were observed in the posterior septum. The occurrence of RXFP3 in PV-positive GABAergic neurons gives support to a role for the Rln3-RXFP3 system in septohippocampal theta rhythm.

  8. Using paleogenomics to study the evolution of gene families: origin and duplication history of the relaxin family hormones and their receptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey Yegorov

    Full Text Available Recent progress in the analysis of whole genome sequencing data has resulted in the emergence of paleogenomics, a field devoted to the reconstruction of ancestral genomes. Ancestral karyotype reconstructions have been used primarily to illustrate the dynamic nature of genome evolution. In this paper, we demonstrate how they can also be used to study individual gene families by examining the evolutionary history of relaxin hormones (RLN/INSL and relaxin family peptide receptors (RXFP. Relaxin family hormones are members of the insulin superfamily, and are implicated in the regulation of a variety of primarily reproductive and neuroendocrine processes. Their receptors are G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR's and include members of two distinct evolutionary groups, an unusual characteristic. Although several studies have tried to elucidate the origins of the relaxin peptide family, the evolutionary origin of their receptors and the mechanisms driving the diversification of the RLN/INSL-RXFP signaling systems in non-placental vertebrates has remained elusive. Here we show that the numerous vertebrate RLN/INSL and RXFP genes are products of an ancestral receptor-ligand system that originally consisted of three genes, two of which apparently trace their origins to invertebrates. Subsequently, diversification of the system was driven primarily by whole genome duplications (WGD, 2R and 3R followed by almost complete retention of the ligand duplicates in most vertebrates but massive loss of receptor genes in tetrapods. Interestingly, the majority of 3R duplicates retained in teleosts are potentially involved in neuroendocrine regulation. Furthermore, we infer that the ancestral AncRxfp3/4 receptor may have been syntenically linked to the AncRln-like ligand in the pre-2R genome, and show that syntenic linkages among ligands and receptors have changed dynamically in different lineages. This study ultimately shows the broad utility, with some caveats, of

  9. Relaxin attenuates aristolochic acid induced human tubular epithelial cell apoptosis in vitro by activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. (United States)

    Xie, Xiang-Cheng; Zhao, Ning; Xu, Qun-Hong; Yang, Xiu; Xia, Wen-Kai; Chen, Qi; Wang, Ming; Fei, Xiao


    Aristolochic acid nephropathy remains a leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD), however few treatment strategies exist. Emerging evidence has shown that H2 relaxin (RLX) possesses powerful antifibrosis and anti-apoptotic properties, therefore we aimed to investigate whether H2 relaxin can be employed to reduce AA-induced cell apoptosis. Human proximal tubular epithelial (HK-2) cells exposed to AA-I were treated with or without administration of H2 RLX. Cell viability was examined using the WST-8 assay. Apoptotic morphologic alterations were observed using the Hoechst 33342 staining method. Apoptosis was detected using flow cytometry. The expression of caspase 3, caspase 8, caspase 9, ERK1/2, Bax, Bcl-2, and Akt proteins was determined by Western blot. Co-treatment with RLX reversed the increased apoptosis observed in the AA-I only treated group. RLX restored expression of phosphorylated Akt which found to be decreased in the AA-I only treated cells. RLX co-treatment led to a decrease in the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio as well as the cleaved form of caspase-3 compared to the AA-I only treated cells. This anti-apoptotic effect of RLX was attenuated by co-administration of the Akt inhibitor LY294002. The present study demonstrated H2 RLX can decrease AA-I induced apoptosis through activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.

  10. Anxiogenic drug administration and elevated plus-maze exposure in rats activate populations of relaxin-3 neurons in the nucleus incertus and serotonergic neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus. (United States)

    Lawther, A J; Clissold, M L; Ma, S; Kent, S; Lowry, C A; Gundlach, A L; Hale, M W


    Anxiety is a complex and adaptive emotional state controlled by a distributed and interconnected network of brain regions, and disruption of these networks is thought to give rise to the behavioral symptoms associated with anxiety disorders in humans. The dorsal raphe nucleus (DR), which contains the majority of forebrain-projecting serotonergic neurons, is implicated in the control of anxiety states and anxiety-related behavior via neuromodulatory effects on these networks. Relaxin-3 is the native neuropeptide ligand for the Gi/o-protein-coupled receptor, RXFP3, and is primarily expressed in the nucleus incertus (NI), a tegmental region immediately caudal to the DR. RXFP3 activation has been shown to modulate anxiety-related behavior in rodents, and RXFP3 mRNA is expressed in the DR. In this study, we examined the response of relaxin-3-containing neurons in the NI and serotonergic neurons in the DR following pharmacologically induced anxiety and exposure to an aversive environment. We administered the anxiogenic drug FG-7142 or vehicle to adult male Wistar rats and, 30 min later, exposed them to either the elevated plus-maze or home cage control conditions. Immunohistochemical detection of c-Fos was used to determine activation of serotonergic neurons in the DR and relaxin-3 neurons in the NI, measured 2h following drug injection. Analysis revealed that FG-7142 administration and exposure to the elevated plus-maze are both associated with an increase in c-Fos expression in relaxin-3-containing neurons in the NI and in serotonergic neurons in dorsal and ventrolateral regions of the DR. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that relaxin-3 systems in the NI and serotonin systems in the DR interact to form part of a network involved in the control of anxiety-related behavior. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Relaxin reduces susceptibility to post-infarct atrial fibrillation in mice due to anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Beiert, Thomas; Tiyerili, Vedat; Knappe, Vincent


    Background Relaxin-2 (RLX) is a peptide hormone that exerts beneficial anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory effects in diverse models of cardiovascular disease. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of RLX treatment on the susceptibility to atrial fibrillation (AF) after myocardial...... infarction (MI). Methods Mice with cryoinfarction of the left anterior ventricular wall were treated for two weeks with either RLX (75 μg/kg/d) or vehicle (sodium acetate) delivered via subcutaneously implanted osmotic minipumps. Results RLX treatment significantly attenuated the increase in AF......-inducibility following cryoinfarction and reduced the mean duration of AF episodes. Furthermore, epicardial mapping of both atria revealed an increase in conduction velocity. In addition to an attenuation of atrial hypertrophy, chronic application of RLX reduced atrial fibrosis, which was linked to a significant...

  12. Relaxin reduces susceptibility to post-infarct atrial fibrillation in mice due to anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory properties. (United States)

    Beiert, Thomas; Tiyerili, Vedat; Knappe, Vincent; Effelsberg, Verena; Linhart, Markus; Stöckigt, Florian; Klein, Sabine; Schierwagen, Robert; Trebicka, Jonel; Nickenig, Georg; Schrickel, Jan W; Andrié, René P


    Relaxin-2 (RLX) is a peptide hormone that exerts beneficial anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory effects in diverse models of cardiovascular disease. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of RLX treatment on the susceptibility to atrial fibrillation (AF) after myocardial infarction (MI). Mice with cryoinfarction of the left anterior ventricular wall were treated for two weeks with either RLX (75 μg/kg/d) or vehicle (sodium acetate) delivered via subcutaneously implanted osmotic minipumps. RLX treatment significantly attenuated the increase in AF-inducibility following cryoinfarction and reduced the mean duration of AF episodes. Furthermore, epicardial mapping of both atria revealed an increase in conduction velocity. In addition to an attenuation of atrial hypertrophy, chronic application of RLX reduced atrial fibrosis, which was linked to a significant reduction in atrial mRNA expression of connective tissue growth factor. Transcript levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 and interleukin-1β were reduced in RLX treated mice, but macrophage infiltration into atrial myocardium was similar in the vehicle and RLX treated groups. Treatment with RLX in mice after MI reduces susceptibility to AF due to anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties. Because to these favorable actions, RLX may become a new therapeutic option in the treatment of AF, even when complicating MI. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Regulation of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1 synthesis and secretion by progestin and relaxin in long term cultures of human endometrial stromal cells

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    Bell, S.C.; Jackson, J.A.; Ashmore, J.; Zhu, H.H.; Tseng, L. (Univ. of Leicester, (United Kingdom))


    The decidualized endometrium during the first trimester of pregnancy synthesizes and secretes a 32-kDa insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (termed hIGFBP-1) at high levels. IGFBP-1 is the major soluble protein product of this tissue and is principally localized to the differentiated endometrial stromal cell, the decidual cell. In the present study long term culture of stromal cells from the nonpregnant endometrium have been employed to elucidate the hormonal requirements for IGFBP-1 production. Immunoreactive IGFBP-1 was undetectable in control cultures. However, inclusion of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) induced rates of 0.35 +/- 0.09 microgram/0.1 mg cell after 20-30 days. In these cultures cells exhibited morphological changes consistent with decidual cell differentiation. In all cultures removal of MPA after exposure for 10-16 days, with or without subsequent inclusion of relaxin (RLX), increased production of IGFBP-1 450- to 4600-fold to rates of 150-710 micrograms/0.1 mg cell or 26-131 micrograms/10(6) on days 24-26. The rates tended to be higher with the inclusion of RLX and were sustained in contrast to cultures without RLX, where rates fell by day 30. Individual cultures responded differently to RLX when added from the initiation of culture, with either a response similar to MPA alone or a cyclical change in production, achieving maximal rates of 190-290 micrograms/0.1 mg cell Cultures in which RLX alone induced high IGFBP-1 high production were obtained from endometrium during the progesterone-dominated luteal phase. In cultures exhibiting high rates of immunoreactive IGFBP-1 production, the protein represented their major secretory protein product. This was confirmed by ({sup 35}S)methionine incorporation and the presence of IGFBP-1 as the predominant protein in serum-free culture medium.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao eWang


    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The anti-fibrotic hormone, relaxin, has been inferred to disrupt TGF-beta1/Smad2 phosphorylation (pSmad2 signal transduction and promote collagen-degrading gelatinase activity via a nitric oxide (NO-dependent pathway. Here, we determined the extent to which NO, soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP were directly involved in the anti-fibrotic actions of relaxin using a selective NO scavenger and sGC inhibitor, and comparing and combining relaxin’s effects with that of an NO donor. METHODS AND RESULTS: Primary renal cortical myofibroblasts isolated from injured rat kidneys were treated with human recombinant relaxin (RLX; 16.8nM, the NO donor, diethylamine NONOate (DEA/NO; 0.5-5uM or the combined effects of RLX (16.8nM and DEA/NO (5uM over 72 hours. The effects of RLX (16.8nM and DEA/NO (5uM were also evaluated in the presence of the NO scavenger, hydroxocobalamin (HXC; 100uM or sGC inhibitor, ODQ (5uM over 72 hours. Furthermore, the effects of RLX (30nM, DEA/NO (5uM and RLX (30nM+DEA/NO (5uM on cGMP levels were directly measured, in the presence or absence of ODQ (5uM. Changes in matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-2, MMP-9 (cell media, pSmad2 and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA; a measure myofibroblast differentiation (cell layer were assessed by gelatin zymography and Western blotting, respectively. At the highest concentration tested, both RLX and DEA/NO promoted MMP-2 and MMP-9 levels by 25-33%, while inhibiting pSmad2 and α-SMA expression by up to 50% (all p<0.05 vs untreated and vehicle-treated cells. However, 5uM of DEA/NO was required to produce the effects seen with 16.8nM of RLX over 72 hours. The anti-fibrotic effects of RLX or DEA/NO alone were completely abrogated by HXC and ODQ (both p<0.01 vs RLX alone or DEA/NO alone, but were significantly enhanced when added in combination (all p<0.05 vs RLX alone. Additionally, the direct cGMP-promoting effects of RLX, DEA/NO and RLX+DEA/NO (which all

  15. Potential Therapeutic Use of Relaxin in Healing Cranial Bone Defects (United States)


    attributes that are likely to benefit bone fracture healing, and it has an excellent safety profile in humans. In brief, to test the hypothesis we use a... euthanasia approximately 3 months later, the percent GFP+ chimerism was 71 + 8%. Not unexpectedly, some mice showed a decline in chimerism over time


    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  17. Modulation of Hippocampal Theta Oscillations and Spatial Memory by Relaxin-3 Neurons of the Nucleus Incertus (United States)

    Ma, Sherie; Olucha-Bordonau, Francisco E.; Hossain, M. Akhter; Lin, Feng; Kuei, Chester; Liu, Changlu; Wade, John D.; Sutton, Steven W.; Nunez, Angel; Gundlach, Andrew L.


    Hippocampal theta rhythm is thought to underlie learning and memory, and it is well established that "pacemaker" neurons in medial septum (MS) modulate theta activity. Recent studies in the rat demonstrated that brainstem-generated theta rhythm occurs through a multisynaptic pathway via the nucleus incertus (NI), which is the primary source of the…

  18. mammalian brain system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Kania


    Full Text Available Relaxin-3, a member of the relaxin peptide family, was discovered in 2001 as a homologue of relaxin – a well-known reproductive hormone. However, it is the brain which turned out to be a major expression site of this newly discovered peptide. Both its molecular structure and expression pattern were shown to be very conserved among vertebrates. Extensive research carried out since the discovery of relaxin-3 contributed to the significant progress in our knowledge regarding this neuropeptide. The endogenous relaxin-3 receptor (RXFP3 was identified and the anatomy of the yet uncharacterized mammalian brain system was described, with nucleus incertus as the main center of relaxin-3 expression. Not only its diffusive projections throughout the whole brain, which reach various brain structures such as the hippocampus, septum, intergeniculate leaflet or amygdala, but also functional studies of the relaxin-3/RXFP3 signaling system, allowed this brain network to be classified as one of the ascending nonspecific brain systems. Thus far, research depicts the connection of relaxin-3 with phenomena such as feeding behavior, spatial memory, sleep/wake cycle or modulation of pituitary gland hormone secretion. Responsiveness of relaxin-3 neurons to stress factors and the strong orexigenic effect exerted by this peptide suggest its participation in modulation of feeding by stress, in particular of the chronic type. The discovery of relaxin-3 opened a new research field which will contribute to our better understanding of the neurobiological basis of feeding disorders.

  19. Serelaxin as a novel therapeutic opposing fibrosis and contraction in lung diseases. (United States)

    Lam, Maggie; Royce, Simon G; Samuel, Chrishan S; Bourke, Jane E


    The most common therapies for asthma and other chronic lung diseases are anti-inflammatory agents and bronchodilators. While these drugs oppose disease symptoms, they do not reverse established structural changes in the airways and their therapeutic efficacy is reduced with increasing disease severity. The peptide hormone, relaxin, is a Relaxin Family Peptide Receptor 1 (RXFP1) receptor agonist with unique combined effects in the lung that differentiates it from these existing therapies. Relaxin has previously been reported to have cardioprotective effects in acute heart failure as well anti-fibrotic actions in several organs. This review focuses on recent experimental evidence of the beneficial effects of chronic relaxin treatment in animal models of airways disease demonstrating inhibition of airway hyperresponsiveness and reversal of established fibrosis, consistent with potential therapeutic benefit. Of particular interest, accumulating evidence demonstrates that relaxin can also acutely oppose contraction by reducing the release of mast cell-derived bronchoconstrictors and by directly eliciting bronchodilation. When used in combination, chronic and acute treatment with relaxin has been shown to enhance responsiveness to both glucocorticoids and β 2 -adrenoceptor agonists respectively. While the mechanisms underlying these beneficial actions remain to be fully elucidated, translation of these promising combined preclinical findings is critical in the development of relaxin as a novel alternative or adjunct therapeutic opposing multiple aspects of airway pathology in lung diseases. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. In vitro pharmacological characterization of RXFP3 allosterism: an example of probe dependency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lily Alvarez-Jaimes

    Full Text Available Recent findings suggest that the relaxin-3 neural network may represent a new ascending arousal pathway able to modulate a range of neural circuits including those affecting circadian rhythm and sleep/wake states, spatial and emotional memory, motivation and reward, the response to stress, and feeding and metabolism. Therefore, the relaxin-3 receptor (RXFP3 is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of various CNS diseases. Here we describe a novel selective RXFP3 receptor positive allosteric modulator (PAM, 3-[3,5-Bis(trifluoromethylphenyl]-1-(3,4-dichlorobenzyl-1-[2-(5-methoxy-1H-indol-3-ylethyl]urea (135PAM1. Calcium mobilization and cAMP accumulation assays in cell lines expressing the cloned human RXFP3 receptor show the compound does not directly activate RXFP3 receptor but increases functional responses to amidated relaxin-3 or R3/I5, a chimera of the INSL5 A chain and the Relaxin-3 B chain. 135PAM1 increases calcium mobilization in the presence of relaxin-3(NH2 and R3/I5(NH2 with pEC50 values of 6.54 (6.46 to 6.64 and 6.07 (5.94 to 6.20, respectively. In the cAMP accumulation assay, 135PAM1 inhibits the CRE response to forskolin with a pIC50 of 6.12 (5.98 to 6.27 in the presence of a probe (10 nM concentration of relaxin-3(NH2. 135PAM1 does not compete for binding with the orthosteric radioligand, [(125I] R3I5 (amide, in membranes prepared from cells expressing the cloned human RXFP3 receptor. 135PAM1 is selective for RXFP3 over RXFP4, which also responds to relaxin-3. However, when using the free acid (native form of relaxin-3 or R3/I5, 135PAM1 doesn't activate RXFP3 indicating that the compound's effect is probe dependent. Thus one can exchange the entire A-chain of the probe peptide while retaining PAM activity, but the state of the probe's c-terminus is crucial to allosteric activity of the PAM. These data demonstrate the existence of an allosteric site for modulation of this GPCR as well as the subtlety of changes in probe

  1. Serelaxin in addition to standard therapy in acute heart failure : Rationale and design of the RELAX-AHF-2 study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teerlink, John R.; Voors, Adriaan A.; Ponikowski, Piotr; Pang, Peter S.; Greenberg, Barry H.; Filippatos, Gerasimos; Felker, G. Michael; Davison, Beth A.; Cotter, Gad; Gimpelewicz, Claudio; Boer-Martins, Leandro; Wernsing, Margaret; Hua, Tsushung A.; Severin, Thomas; Metra, Marco

    Patients admitted for acute heart failure (AHF) experience high rates of in-hospital and post-discharge morbidity and mortality despite current therapies. Serelaxin is recombinant human relaxin-2, a hormone with vasodilatory and end-organ protective effects believed to play a central role in the

  2. Preterm delivery predicted by soluble CD163 and CRP in women with symptoms of preterm delivery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vogel, Ida; Grove, Jakob; Thorsen, Poul


    : High levels of sCD163 or CRP are associated with an increased risk of preterm delivery in women with symptoms of delivery. Good prediction of preterm delivery before 34 weeks of gestation was obtained by a combination of preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (PPROM), overweight, relaxin, CRP and s...

  3. Pregnancy, fertility, and disease course in patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munkholm, NN


    the disease course during pregnancy in an EU-IBD inception cohort of 1200 patients diagnosed from 1991 to 1993 and followed up for 10 years. We also attempt to evaluate such factors as smoking and medication and to predict pregnancy course and fertility in IBD as well as in a cross-sectional study of members...... of the patient organization EFCCA. One of the questions that arose was: what factor is responsible for the observation that pregnancy decreases the incidence of relapses and the development of fibrostenotic lesions? Relaxin and the glycoprotein YKL-40 are validated in the cohort. The protein relaxin, produced...... immune deficits. Glycoprotein YKL-40, which causes fibrosis in RA and cirrhosis, is speculated to be lower in multiparous women than in nonpregnant women due to the fetal lymphocytes that secrete a protein that is a potential immune modulator. Knowledge gained from future EC-IBD studies may result in new...

  4. In vivo imaging of extracellular matrix remodeling by tumor-associated fibroblasts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perentes, Jean Y; McKee, Trevor D; Ley, Carsten D


    Here we integrated multiphoton laser scanning microscopy and the registration of second harmonic generation images of collagen fibers to overcome difficulties in tracking stromal cell-matrix interactions for several days in live mice. We show that the matrix-modifying hormone relaxin increased...... tumor-associated fibroblast (TAF) interaction with collagen fibers by stimulating beta1-integrin activity, which is necessary for fiber remodeling by matrix metalloproteinases....

  5. Clinical significance of determination of plasma CF6, 6-Keto-PGF1α and RLX levels in patients with preeclampsia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Fei; Chen Daozhen; Wang Junfeng; Yang Min; Pan Donghui


    Objective: To study the relationship between development of the disease and changes of plasma mitochondrial coupling factor 6 (CF6), prostacyclin (6-Keto-PGF 1α ) and relaxin (RLX) levels in patients with preeclampsia. Methods: Serum CF6, 6-Keto-PGF 1α (as the stable metabolite of 6-Keto-PGF 1α ) and relaxin levels were determined with RIA in (1) 22 pregnant women with mild pre-eclampsia (2) 20 pregnant women with severe pre-eclampsia and (3) 40 normal pregnant women (as controls). Results: The plasma levels of CF6 were significantly higher in patients with mild as well as severe preeclampsia than those in the controls (P 1α were only insignificantly decreased in patients with mild preeclampsia than those in the controls (P > 0.05). In severe preeclampsia group, plasma levels of 6-Keto-PGF 1α were significantly decreased than those in the controls (P 1α and RLX (r =-0.058, r =-0.601, all P 1α and RLX levels in patients with preeclampsia were helpful for assessment of progress of disease and outcome prediction. (authors)

  6. Endocrinology of pregnancy in the dog: a review. (United States)

    Verstegen-Onclin, K; Verstegen, J


    Pregnancy regulation in the dog is not yet fully elucidated. Since plasma progesterone concentrations are similar in pregnant versus non-pregnant animals, it is a poor reflection on CL function and progesterone metabolism. Increased progesterone secretion by the CL in pregnant animals follows implantation and relaxin secretion by the feto-placental units. Progesterone is absolutely required to maintain pregnancy and no placental sources of progesterone have been identified. Pregnancy can be artificially maintained by progesterone administration. Prolactin secretion appears to be increased in response to the increase in relaxin production and occurs independent of estrogen production by the CL. The respective roles of LH, FSH and prolactin are still unclear, with considerable conflicting evidence among studies. However, it appears that prolactin is absolutely required, whereas LH is either permissive or facilitates CL function during pregnancy. Pre-implantation events are still poorly defined in the bitch, and no embryonic factors have been isolated or purified, preventing early pregnancy diagnosis. Parturition occurs following luteolysis, which results from the release of prostaglandin F(2alpha), which begins 36h prepartum in a process similar to that observed in other species. The role of estrogens at the time of parturition remains undefined.

  7. Sex Hormones and Tendon

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Mette; Kjaer, Michael


    The risk of overuse and traumatic tendon and ligament injuries differ between women and men. Part of this gender difference in injury risk is probably explained by sex hormonal differences which are specifically distinct during the sexual maturation in the teenage years and during young adulthood....... The effects of the separate sex hormones are not fully elucidated. However, in women, the presence of estrogen in contrast to very low estrogen levels may be beneficial during regular loading of the tissue or during recovering after an injury, as estrogen can enhance tendon collagen synthesis rate. Yet...... has also been linked to a reduced responsiveness to relaxin. The present chapter will focus on sex difference in tendon injury risk, tendon morphology and tendon collagen turnover, but also on the specific effects of estrogen and androgens....

  8. Heterozygous deletion at the RLN1 locus in a family with testicular germ cell cancer identified by integrating copy number variation data with phenome and interactome information

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edsgärd, D; Scheel, M; Hansen, N T


    -associated genes among loci targeted by CNVs. The top-ranked candidate, RLN1, encoding a Relaxin-H1 peptide, although only detected in one of the families, was selected for further investigations. Validation of the CNV at the RLN1 locus was performed as an association study using qPCR with 106 sporadic testicular...... GCT patients and 200 healthy controls. Observed CNV frequencies of 1.9% among cases and 1.5% amongst controls were not significantly different and this was further confirmed by CNV data extracted from a genome-wide analysis of 189 cases and 380 controls, where similar frequencies of 2.2% were observed....... Collectively, the findings show that a heterozygous loss at the RLN1 locus is not a genetic factor mediating high population-wide risk for testicular germ cell tumour, but do not exclude a contribution of this aberration in some cases of cancer. The preliminary expression data suggest a possible role...

  9. Aromatherapy in midwifery practice. (United States)

    Einion, Alys


    Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that uses essential oils of plants to achieve therapeutic effects. Midwives can offer complementary therapies to women if they have been trained in their use and follow the required professional frameworks for regulation, permissions, monitoring and insurance. This article explores the use of aromatherapy to ease a common condition of pregnancy: that of lower back pain. This may be due to the lordosis of pregnancy, caused by the hormone relaxin--which increases in pregnancy and causes greater flexibility of joints and connective tissue--and by changes in body mass and centre of gravity; but it could also be caused by something else, such as strain or repeated movement. Any midwife offering aromatherapy should ensure that all other potential conditions and contraindications have been considered before commencing treatment, and would carry out a full assessment including taking adetailed history.

  10. Placenta accreta: diagnosis, management and the molecular biology of the morbidly adherent placenta. (United States)

    Goh, William A; Zalud, Ivica


    Placenta accreta is now the chief cause of postpartum hemorrhage resulting in maternal and neonatal morbidity. Prenatal diagnosis decreases blood loss at delivery and intra and post-partum complications. Ultrasound is critical for diagnosis and MRI is a complementary tool when the diagnosis is uncertain. Peripartum hysterectomy has been the standard of therapy but conservative management is increasingly being used. The etiology of accreta is due to a deficiency of maternal decidua resulting in placental invasion into the uterine myometrium. The molecular basis for the development of invasive placentation is yet to be elucidated but may involve abnormal paracrine/autocrine signaling between the deficient maternal decidua and the trophoblastic tissue. The interaction of hormones such as Relaxin which is abundant in maternal decidua and insulin-like 4, an insulin-like peptide found in placental trophoblastic tissue may play role in the formation of placenta accreta.

  11. Chimeric RXFP1 and RXFP2 receptors highlight the similar mechanism of activation utilizing their N-terminal low density lipoprotein class A modules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shoni eBruell


    Full Text Available Relaxin family peptide (RXFP receptors 1 and 2 are unique G-protein coupled receptors in that they contain an N-terminal low density lipoprotein type A (LDLa module which is necessary for receptor activation. The current hypothesis suggests that upon ligand binding the LDLa module interacts with the transmembrane (TM domain of a homodimer partner receptor to induce the active receptor conformations. We recently demonstrated that three residues in the N-terminus of the RXFP1 LDLa module are potentially involved in hydrophobic interactions with the receptor to drive activation. RXFP2 shares two out of three of the residues implicated, suggesting that the two LDLa modules could be interchanged without adversely affecting activity. However, in 2007 it was shown that a chimera consisting of the RXFP1 receptor with its LDLa swapped for that of RXFP2 did not signal. We noticed this construct also contained the RXFP2 region linking the LDLa to the leucine-rich repeats. We therefore constructed chimeric RXFP1 and RXFP2 receptors with their LDLa modules swapped immediately C-terminally to the final cysteine residue of the module, retaining the native linker. In addition, we exchanged the TM domains of the chimeras to explore if matching the LDLa module with the TM domain of its native receptor altered activity. All of the chimeras were expressed at the surface of HEK293T cells with ligand binding profiles similar to the wild-type receptors. Importantly, as predicted, ligand binding was able to induce cAMP based signalling. Chimeras of RXFP1 with the LDLa of RXFP2 demonstrated reduced H2 relaxin potency with the pairing of the RXFP2 TM with the RXFP2 LDLa necessary for full ligand efficacy. In contrast the ligand mediated potencies and efficacies on the RXFP2 chimeras were similar suggesting the RXFP1 LDLa module has similar efficacy on the RXFP2 TM domain. Our studies demonstrate the LDLa modules of RXFP1 and RXFP2 modulate receptor activation via a

  12. Effect of zeranol on expression of apoptotic and cell cycle proteins in murine placentae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Yanfei; Li, Lu; Wang, C.C.; Leung, Lai K.


    Highlights: • Zeranol administered at 1–100 mg/kg/day demonstrated an increasing trend of fetal resorption and early delivery in mice. • Placental expression of Cdk2 and 4, Cyclin D1 and Bcl-xL were reduced mostly in mice treated with ≥10 mg zeranol/kg/day. • Increased pErk-1 and 2 were also observed in the placentae of zeranol-treated mice. - Abstract: Mycotoxins are chemicals produced by fungus and many of them are toxic to humans. Zeranol is a mycotoxin used to promote growth in cattle in North America; yet such a practice draws concern about the residual compound in meat in European countries. In the present study, the toxicity of zeranol was tested in a mouse model for reproduction. Pregnant ICR mice were given p.o. daily doses of zeranol at 0, 1, 10, 100 mg/kg for 4 days (from E13.5 to E16.5). Increased rates of fetal resorption at late gestation (E17.5) and preterm birth (< E18.5) were observed in mice treated with zeranol. The apparent factors causing these perinatal conditions were subsequently investigated. Perturbation of cell death or proliferation-related proteins might deter the growth and maintenance of the placentae, and the subsequent fetal resorption and preterm birth. Placental tissue isolated from pregnant mice at E17.5 showed that the expressions of Cdk2 and 4, Cyclin D1 and Bcl-xL were reduced in zeranol-treatment groups. The downregulations might signify growth or maintenance failure in the placentae. Furthermore, reduction in the signaling proteins Erk-1/2 in the placentae could trigger the decrease in the cell cycle/apoptosis proteins. In addition, relaxin is associated with preterm labor. An increase in placental Relaxin-1 expression could also contribute to early delivery in this study. Result of the current study suggested that exposure to zeranol might introduce adverse effect in pregnancy

  13. Serelaxin as a potential treatment for renal dysfunction in cirrhosis: Preclinical evaluation and results of a randomized phase 2 trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victoria K Snowdon


    Full Text Available Chronic liver scarring from any cause leads to cirrhosis, portal hypertension, and a progressive decline in renal blood flow and renal function. Extreme renal vasoconstriction characterizes hepatorenal syndrome, a functional and potentially reversible form of acute kidney injury in patients with advanced cirrhosis, but current therapy with systemic vasoconstrictors is ineffective in a substantial proportion of patients and is limited by ischemic adverse events. Serelaxin (recombinant human relaxin-2 is a peptide molecule with anti-fibrotic and vasoprotective properties that binds to relaxin family peptide receptor-1 (RXFP1 and has been shown to increase renal perfusion in healthy human volunteers. We hypothesized that serelaxin could ameliorate renal vasoconstriction and renal dysfunction in patients with cirrhosis and portal hypertension.To establish preclinical proof of concept, we developed two independent rat models of cirrhosis that were characterized by progressive reduction in renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate and showed evidence of renal endothelial dysfunction. We then set out to further explore and validate our hypothesis in a phase 2 randomized open-label parallel-group study in male and female patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Forty patients were randomized 1:1 to treatment with serelaxin intravenous (i.v. infusion (for 60 min at 80 μg/kg/d and then 60 min at 30 μg/kg/d or terlipressin (single 2-mg i.v. bolus, and the regional hemodynamic effects were quantified by phase contrast magnetic resonance angiography at baseline and after 120 min. The primary endpoint was the change from baseline in total renal artery blood flow. Therapeutic targeting of renal vasoconstriction with serelaxin in the rat models increased kidney perfusion, oxygenation, and function through reduction in renal vascular resistance, reversal of endothelial dysfunction, and increased activation of the AKT

  14. Plants altering hormonal milieu: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prashant Tiwari


    Full Text Available The aim of the present review article is to investigate the herbs which can alter the levels of hormones like Follicle stimulating hormone, Prolactin, Growth hormone, Insulin, Thyroxine, Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, and Relaxin etc. Hormones are chemical signal agents produced by different endocrine glands for regulating our biological functions. The glands like pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, ovaries in women and testes in men all secrete a number of hormones with different actions. However, when these hormones are perfectly balanced then people become healthy and fit. But several factors like pathophysiological as well as biochemical changes, disease conditions, changes in the atmosphere, changes in the body, diet changes etc. may result in imbalance of various hormones that produce undesirable symptoms and disorders. As medicinal plants have their importance since ancient time, people have been using it in various ways as a source of medicine for regulation of hormonal imbalance. Moreover, it is observed that certain herbs have a balancing effect on hormones and have great impact on well-being of the people. So, considering these facts we expect that the article provides an overview on medicinal plants with potential of altering hormone level.


    Shipilov, V N; Trost, A M; Chistyakova, O V; Derkach, K V; Shpakov, A O


    Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is one of the most common complications of the type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM1). The aim of the work was to study the dynamics of a painful DPN and functional state of the hormone-sensitive ACSS in the skeletal muscles of rats with the models of acute and mild DM1, as well as the study of impact on them of insulin therapy with different ways of hormone delivery - intranasal and peripheral. In both models of DM1, the level of nociceptive threshold in rats decreased and the stimulatory effects of guanine nucleotides (GppNHp) and adrenergic agonists (isoproterenol, BRL-37344) on adenylyl cyclase (AC) activity were attenuated. The AC stimulating effect of relaxin decreased in animals with acute DM1, but in mild DM1, the decrease was insignificant. Peripheral administration of insulin in rats with acute DM1 increased the nociceptive threshold and partially restored the AC effect of ß 3-agonist BRL-37344. Intranasal administration of insulin in rats with DM1 also increased the nociceptive threshold and partially restored the basal and BRL-37344-stimulated AC activity in the skeletal muscles of diabetic animals. Thus, in the skeletal muscles of rats with acute and mild DM1 the nociceptive sensitivity and the functions of ACSS were disturbed, and they were partially restored by the treatment with peripheral (acute DM1) or intranasal (mild DM1) insulin.

  16. Inhibitory mechanism of l-glutamic acid on spawning of the starfish Patiria (Asterina) pectinifera. (United States)

    Mita, Masatoshi


    l-Glutamic acid was previously identified as an inhibitor of spawning in the starfish Patiria (Asterina) pectinifera; this study examined how l-glutamic acid works. Oocyte release from ovaries of P. pectinifera occurred after germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and follicular envelope breakdown (FEBD) when gonads were incubated ex vivo with either relaxin-like gonad-stimulating peptide (RGP) or 1-methyladenine (1-MeAde). l-Glutamic acid blocked this spawning phenotype, causing the mature oocytes to remain within the ovaries. Neither RGP-induced 1-MeAde production in ovarian follicle cells nor 1-MeAde-induced GVBD and FEBD was affected by l-glutamic acid. l-Glutamic acid may act through metabotropic receptors in the ovaries to inhibit spawning, as l-(+)-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid, an agonist for metabotropic glutamate receptors, also inhibited spawning induced by 1-MeAde. Application of acetylcholine (ACH) to ovaries under inhibitory conditions with l-glutamic acid, however, brought about spawning, possibly by inducing contraction of the ovarian wall to discharge mature oocytes from the ovaries concurrently with GVBD and FEBD. Thus, l-glutamic acid may inhibit ACH secretion from gonadal nerve cells in the ovary. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 84: 246-256, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Mast cells, peptides and cardioprotection - an unlikely marriage?

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Walsh, S K


    1 Mast cells have classically been regarded as the \\'bad guys\\' in the setting of acute myocardial ischaemia, where their released contents are believed to contribute both to tissue injury and electrical disturbances resulting from ischaemia. Recent evidence suggests, however, that if mast cell degranulation occurs in advance of ischaemia onset, this may be cardioprotective by virtue of the depletion of mast cell contents that can no longer act as instruments of injury when the tissue becomes ischaemic. 2 Many peptides, such as ET-1, adrenomedullin, relaxin and atrial natriuretic peptide, have been demonstrated to be cardioprotective when given prior to the onset of myocardial ischaemia, although their physiological functions are varied and the mechanisms of their cardioprotective actions appear to be diverse and often ill defined. However, one common denominator that is emerging is the ability of these peptides to modulate mast cell degranulation, raising the possibility that peptide-induced mast cell degranulation or stabilization may hold the key to a common mechanism of their cardioprotection. 3 The aim of this review was to consolidate the evidence implying that mast cell degranulation could play both a detrimental and protective role in myocardial ischaemia, depending upon when it occurs, and that this may underlie the cardioprotective effects of a range of diverse peptides that exerts physiological effects within the cardiovascular system.

  18. The pre-vertebrate origins of neurogenic placodes. (United States)

    Abitua, Philip Barron; Gainous, T Blair; Kaczmarczyk, Angela N; Winchell, Christopher J; Hudson, Clare; Kamata, Kaori; Nakagawa, Masashi; Tsuda, Motoyuki; Kusakabe, Takehiro G; Levine, Michael


    The sudden appearance of the neural crest and neurogenic placodes in early branching vertebrates has puzzled biologists for over a century. These embryonic tissues contribute to the development of the cranium and associated sensory organs, which were crucial for the evolution of the vertebrate "new head". A previous study suggests that rudimentary neural crest cells existed in ancestral chordates. However, the evolutionary origins of neurogenic placodes have remained obscure owing to a paucity of embryonic data from tunicates, the closest living relatives to those early vertebrates. Here we show that the tunicate Ciona intestinalis exhibits a proto-placodal ectoderm (PPE) that requires inhibition of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and expresses the key regulatory determinant Six1/2 and its co-factor Eya, a developmental process conserved across vertebrates. The Ciona PPE is shown to produce ciliated neurons that express genes for gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a G-protein-coupled receptor for relaxin-3 (RXFP3) and a functional cyclic nucleotide-gated channel (CNGA), which suggests dual chemosensory and neurosecretory activities. These observations provide evidence that Ciona has a neurogenic proto-placode, which forms neurons that appear to be related to those derived from the olfactory placode and hypothalamic neurons of vertebrates. We discuss the possibility that the PPE-derived GnRH neurons of Ciona resemble an ancestral cell type, a progenitor to the complex neuronal circuit that integrates sensory information and neuroendocrine functions in vertebrates.

  19. Interactions of Circadian Rhythmicity, Stress and Orexigenic Neuropeptide Systems: Implications for Food Intake Control. (United States)

    Blasiak, Anna; Gundlach, Andrew L; Hess, Grzegorz; Lewandowski, Marian H


    Many physiological processes fluctuate throughout the day/night and daily fluctuations are observed in brain and peripheral levels of several hormones, neuropeptides and transmitters. In turn, mediators under the "control" of the "master biological clock" reciprocally influence its function. Dysregulation in the rhythmicity of hormone release as well as hormone receptor sensitivity and availability in different tissues, is a common risk-factor for multiple clinical conditions, including psychiatric and metabolic disorders. At the same time circadian rhythms remain in a strong, reciprocal interaction with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Recent findings point to a role of circadian disturbances and excessive stress in the development of obesity and related food consumption and metabolism abnormalities, which constitute a major health problem worldwide. Appetite, food intake and energy balance are under the influence of several brain neuropeptides, including the orexigenic agouti-related peptide, neuropeptide Y, orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone and relaxin-3. Importantly, orexigenic neuropeptide neurons remain under the control of the circadian timing system and are highly sensitive to various stressors, therefore the potential neuronal mechanisms through which disturbances in the daily rhythmicity and stress-related mediator levels contribute to food intake abnormalities rely on reciprocal interactions between these elements.

  20. [Organ-protection therapy. A new therapeutic approach for acute heart failure?]. (United States)

    Chivite, David; Formiga, Francesc; Corbella, Xavier


    Unlike the prolonged benefit produced by the treatment of chronic heart failure, newer drugs tested for the treatment of acute heart failure in the last decade have failed to provide evidence of clinical benefit beyond some improvement in symptom relief. In particular, no drug has shown the ability to reduce the higher medium- and long-term risk of morbidity and mortality in these patients after an episode of decompensation. Current understanding of the pathophysiology of acute heart failure and its consequences has led to the hypothesis that, beyond symptom control, effective therapies for this syndrome should target not only the hemodynamic changes of the initial phase of the syndrome but should also "protect" the organism from the activation of neurohumoral and inflammatory pathways triggered by the decompensation episode, which persist in time and confer a risk of deleterious effects in several organs and tissues. Serelaxin, a new drug related to the peptidic endogenous hormones of the relaxin family, has recently been shown to provide multiple beneficial effects in terms of "organ protection" - not only in the cardiovascular and renal systems - from these acute heart failure-related deleterious changes. This drug has already been tested in acute heart failure patients with encouraging results in terms of medium-term clinical benefit, rendering serelaxin as a serious candidate for first-line, prognosis-modifying therapy in this syndrome. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.

  1. Expression, Localization of SUMO-1, and Analyses of Potential SUMOylated Proteins in Bubalus bubalis Spermatozoa. (United States)

    Brohi, Rahim Dad; Wang, Li; Hassine, Najla Ben; Cao, Jing; Talpur, Hira Sajjad; Wu, Di; Huang, Chun-Jie; Rehman, Zia-Ur; Bhattarai, Dinesh; Huo, Li-Jun


    Mature spermatozoa have highly condensed DNA that is essentially silent both transcriptionally and translationally. Therefore, post translational modifications are very important for regulating sperm motility, morphology, and for male fertility in general. Protein sumoylation was recently demonstrated in human and rodent spermatozoa, with potential consequences for sperm motility and DNA integrity. We examined the expression and localization of small ubiquitin-related modifier-1 (SUMO-1) in the sperm of water buffalo ( Bubalus bubalis ) using immunofluorescence analysis. We confirmed the expression of SUMO-1 in the acrosome. We further found that SUMO-1 was lost if the acrosome reaction was induced by calcium ionophore A23187. Proteins modified or conjugated by SUMO-1 in water buffalo sperm were pulled down and analyzed by mass spectrometry. Sixty proteins were identified, including proteins important for sperm morphology and motility, such as relaxin receptors and cytoskeletal proteins, including tubulin chains, actins, and dyneins. Forty-six proteins were predicted as potential sumoylation targets. The expression of SUMO-1 in the acrosome region of water buffalo sperm and the identification of potentially SUMOylated proteins important for sperm function implicates sumoylation as a crucial PTM related to sperm function.

  2. Expression, Localization of SUMO-1, and Analyses of Potential SUMOylated Proteins in Bubalus bubalis Spermatozoa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahim Dad Brohi


    Full Text Available Mature spermatozoa have highly condensed DNA that is essentially silent both transcriptionally and translationally. Therefore, post translational modifications are very important for regulating sperm motility, morphology, and for male fertility in general. Protein sumoylation was recently demonstrated in human and rodent spermatozoa, with potential consequences for sperm motility and DNA integrity. We examined the expression and localization of small ubiquitin-related modifier-1 (SUMO-1 in the sperm of water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis using immunofluorescence analysis. We confirmed the expression of SUMO-1 in the acrosome. We further found that SUMO-1 was lost if the acrosome reaction was induced by calcium ionophore A23187. Proteins modified or conjugated by SUMO-1 in water buffalo sperm were pulled down and analyzed by mass spectrometry. Sixty proteins were identified, including proteins important for sperm morphology and motility, such as relaxin receptors and cytoskeletal proteins, including tubulin chains, actins, and dyneins. Forty-six proteins were predicted as potential sumoylation targets. The expression of SUMO-1 in the acrosome region of water buffalo sperm and the identification of potentially SUMOylated proteins important for sperm function implicates sumoylation as a crucial PTM related to sperm function.

  3. Plants altering hormonal milieu: A review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prashant Tiwari


    Full Text Available The aim of the present review article is to investigate the herbs which can alter the levels of hormones like Follicle stimulating hormone, Prolactin, Growth hormone, Insulin, Thyroxine, Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, and Relaxin etc. Hormones are chemical signal agents produced by different endocrine glands for regulating our biological functions. The glands like pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, ovaries in women and testes in men all secrete a number of hormones with different actions. However, when these hormones are perfectly balanced then people become healthy and fit. But several factors like pathophysiological as well as biochemical changes, disease conditions, changes in the atmosphere, changes in the body, diet changes etc. may result in imbalance of various hormones that produce undesirable symptoms and disorders. As medicinal plants have their importance since ancient time, people have been using it in various ways as a source of medicine for regulation of hormonal imbalance. Moreover, it is observed that certain herbs have a balancing effect on hormones and have great impact on well-being of the people. So, considering these facts we expect that the article provides an overview on medicinal plants with potential of altering hormone level.

  4. E-Peptides Control Bioavailability of IGF-1 (United States)

    Piszczek, Agnieszka; Perlas, Emarald; Winn, Nadine; Nastasi, Tommaso; Rosenthal, Nadia


    Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a potent cytoprotective growth factor that has attracted considerable attention as a promising therapeutic agent. Transgenic over-expression of IGF-1 propeptides facilitates protection and repair in a broad range of tissues, although transgenic mice over-expressing IGF-1 propeptides display little or no increase in IGF-1 serum levels, even with high levels of transgene expression. IGF-1 propeptides are encoded by multiple alternatively spliced transcripts including C-terminal extension (E) peptides, which are highly positively charged. In the present study, we use decellularized mouse tissue to show that the E-peptides facilitate in vitro binding of murine IGF-1 to the extracellular matrix (ECM) with varying affinities. This property is independent of IGF-1, since proteins consisting of the E-peptides fused to relaxin, a related member of the insulin superfamily, bound equally avidly to decellularized ECM. Thus, the E-peptides control IGF-1 bioavailability by preventing systemic circulation, offering a potentially powerful way to tether IGF-1 and other therapeutic proteins to the site of synthesis and/or administration. PMID:23251442

  5. Testicular descent: INSL3, testosterone, genes and the intrauterine milieu. (United States)

    Bay, Katrine; Main, Katharina M; Toppari, Jorma; Skakkebæk, Niels E


    Complete testicular descent is a sign of, and a prerequisite for, normal testicular function in adult life. The process of testis descent is dependent on gubernacular growth and reorganization, which is regulated by the Leydig cell hormones insulin-like peptide 3 (INSL3) and testosterone. Investigation of the role of INSL3 and its receptor, relaxin-family peptide receptor 2 (RXFP2), has contributed substantially to our understanding of the hormonal control of testicular descent. Cryptorchidism is a common congenital malformation, which is seen in 2-9% of newborn boys, and confers an increased risk of infertility and testicular cancer in adulthood. Although some cases of isolated cryptorchidism in humans can be ascribed to known genetic defects, such as mutations in INSL3 or RXFP2, the cause of cryptorchidism remains unknown in most patients. Several animal and human studies are currently underway to test the hypothesis that in utero factors, including environmental and maternal lifestyle factors, may be involved in the etiology of cryptorchidism. Overall, the etiology of isolated cryptorchidism seems to be complex and multifactorial, involving both genetic and nongenetic components.

  6. Withaferin A Associated Differential Regulation of Inflammatory Cytokines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seema Dubey


    Full Text Available A role of inflammation-associated cytokines/chemokines has been implicated in a wide variety of human diseases. Here, we investigated the regulation of inflammatory cytokines released by monocyte-derived THP-1 cells following treatment with the dietary agent withaferin A (WFA. Membrane-based cytokine array profiling of the culture supernatant from adenosine triphosphate-stimulated WFA-treated THP-1 cells showed differential regulation of multiple cytokines/chemokines. A selected group of cytokines/chemokines [interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β, CCL2/MCP-1, granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor, PDGF-AA, PTX3, cystatin-3, relaxin-2, TNFRSF8/CD30, and ACRP30] was validated at the transcription level using qPCR. In silico analysis for transcriptional binding factors revealed the presence of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB in a group of downregulated cytokine gene promoters. WFA treatment of THP-1 cells blocks the nuclear translocation of NF-kB and corresponds with the reduced levels of cytokine secretion. To further understand the differential expression of cytokines/chemokines, we showed that WFA alters the nigericin-induced co-localization of NLRP3 and ASC proteins, thereby inhibiting caspase-1 activation, which is responsible for the cleavage and maturation of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18. These data suggest that dietary agent WFA concurrently targets NF-κB and the inflammasome complex, leading to inhibition of IL-1β and IL-18, respectively, in addition to differential expression of multiple cytokines/chemokines. Taken together, these results provide a rationale for using WFA to further explore the anti-inflammatory mechanism of cytokines/chemokines associated with inflammatory diseases.

  7. Pharmacokinetics of serelaxin in patients with hepatic impairment: a single-dose, open-label, parallel group study. (United States)

    Kobalava, Zhanna; Villevalde, Svetlana; Kotovskaya, Yulia; Hinrichsen, Holger; Petersen-Sylla, Marc; Zaehringer, Andreas; Pang, Yinuo; Rajman, Iris; Canadi, Jasna; Dahlke, Marion; Lloyd, Peter; Halabi, Atef


    Serelaxin is a recombinant form of human relaxin-2 in development for treatment of acute heart failure. This study aimed to evaluate the pharmacokinetics (PK) of serelaxin in patients with hepatic impairment. Secondary objectives included evaluation of immunogenicity, safety and tolerability of serelaxin. This was an open-label, parallel group study (NCT01433458) comparing the PK of serelaxin following a single 24 h intravenous (i.v.) infusion (30 μg kg(-1)  day(-1) ) between patients with mild, moderate or severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh class A, B, C) and healthy matched controls. Blood sampling and standard safety assessments were conducted. Primary non-compartmental PK parameters [including area under the serum concentration-time curve AUC(0-48 h) and AUC(0-∞) and serum concentration at 24 h post-dose (C24h )] were compared between each hepatic impairment group and healthy controls. A total of 49 subjects (including 25 patients with hepatic impairment) were enrolled, of which 48 subjects completed the study. In all groups, the serum concentration of serelaxin increased over the first few hours of infusion, reached steady-state at 12-24 h and then declined following completion of infusion, with a mean terminal half-life of 7-8 h. All PK parameter estimates were comparable between each group of patients with hepatic impairment and healthy controls. No serious adverse events, discontinuations due to adverse events or deaths were reported. No serelaxin treatment-related antibodies developed during this study. The PK and safety profile of serelaxin were not affected by hepatic impairment. No dose adjustment is needed for serelaxin treatment of 48 h i.v. infusion in patients with hepatic impairment. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

  8. Gateways to clinical trials. (United States)

    Bayés, M; Rabasseda, X; Prous, J R


    Gateways to Clinical Trials are a guide to the most recent clinical trials in current literature and congresses. The data in the following tables has been retrieved from the Clinical Trials Knowledge Area of Prous Science Intergrity, the drug discovery and development portal, This issue focuses on the following selection of drugs: 249553, 2-Methoxyestradiol; Abatacept, Adalimumab, Adefovir dipivoxil, Agalsidase beta, Albinterferon alfa-2b, Aliskiren fumarate, Alovudine, Amdoxovir, Amlodipine besylate/atorvastatin calcium, Amrubicin hydrochloride, Anakinra, AQ-13, Aripiprazole, AS-1404, Asoprisnil, Atacicept, Atrasentan; Belimumab, Bevacizumab, Bortezomib, Bosentan, Botulinum toxin type B, Brivaracetam; Catumaxomab, Cediranib, Cetuximab, cG250, Ciclesonide, Cinacalcet hydrochloride, Curcumin, Cypher; Darbepoetin alfa, Denosumab, Dihydrexidine; Eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid, Entecavir, Erlotinib hydrochloride, Escitalopram oxalate, Etoricoxib, Everolimus, Ezetimibe; Febuxostat, Fenspiride hydrochloride, Fondaparinux sodium; Gefitinib, Ghrelin (human), GSK-1562902A; HSV-tk/GCV; Iclaprim, Imatinib mesylate, Imexon, Indacaterol, Insulinotropin, ISIS-112989; L-Alanosine, Lapatinib ditosylate, Laropiprant; Methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin-beta, Mipomersen sodium, Motexafin gadolinium; Natalizumab, Nimotuzumab; OSC, Ozarelix; PACAP-38, Paclitaxel nanoparticles, Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein-(1-36), Pasireotide, Pegfilgrastim, Peginterferon alfa-2a, Peginterferon alfa-2b, Pemetrexed disodium, Pertuzumab, Picoplatin, Pimecrolimus, Pitavastatin calcium, Plitidepsin; Ranelic acid distrontium salt, Ranolazine, Recombinant human relaxin H2, Regadenoson, RFB4(dsFv)-PE38, RO-3300074, Rosuvastatin calcium; SIR-Spheres, Solifenacin succinate, Sorafenib, Sunitinib malate; Tadalafil, Talabostat, Taribavirin hydrochloride, Taxus, Temsirolimus, Teriparatide, Tiotropium bromide, Tipifarnib, Tirapazamine, Tocilizumab; UCN-01, Ularitide

  9. Risk factors for the development of stress urinary incontinence during pregnancy in primigravidae: a review of the literature. (United States)

    Sangsawang, Bussara


    The most common type of urinary incontinence (UI) in pregnant women is stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The number of pregnant women with SUI was variable, the prevalence ranged from 18.6% to 75% and increased with gestational age. It can affect the quality of life (QoL) of approximately 54.3% of all pregnant women in four domains including physical activity, travel, social relationships and emotional health. Pregnancy is one of the main risk factors for the development of SUI in young women. Physiological changes during pregnancy, such as increasing pressure of the growing uterus and fetal weight on the pelvic floor muscle (PFM) throughout pregnancy, together with pregnancy-related hormonal changes such as increased progesterone, decreased relaxin, and decreased collagen levels, may lead to reduced strength and supportive and sphincteric function of the PFM. Pregnancy may associate with the reduction of the PFM strength which can develop the SUI. However, the exact causes of pregnancy-related SUI remain unclear. Multiple factors have been found to be associated with the development of SUI during pregnancy. In genetic risk factors, aging is an important role in SUI development. The other risk factors such as obesity, smoking, constipation, pre-pregnancy SUI, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), and pelvic floor muscle exercise (PFME) that utilized preventive strategies can reduce SUI in pregnant women. The purpose of this review is to identify the risk factors for the development of SUI in pregnant women. These understanding can be useful for health professions to inform and counsel the pregnant women to prevent and reduce the risk factors that contribute to the development of SUI during pregnancy and postpartum period. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. The C-terminus of the B-chain of human insulin-like peptide 5 is critical for cognate RXFP4 receptor activity. (United States)

    Patil, Nitin A; Bathgate, Ross A D; Kocan, Martina; Ang, Sheng Yu; Tailhades, Julien; Separovic, Frances; Summers, Roger; Grosse, Johannes; Hughes, Richard A; Wade, John D; Hossain, Mohammed Akhter


    Insulin-like peptide 5 (INSL5) is an orexigenic peptide hormone belonging to the relaxin family of peptides. It is expressed primarily in the L-cells of the colon and has a postulated key role in regulating food intake. Its G protein-coupled receptor, RXFP4, is a potential drug target for treating obesity and anorexia. We studied the effect of modification of the C-terminus of the A and B-chains of human INSL5 on RXFP4 binding and activation. Three variants of human INSL5 were prepared using solid phase peptide synthesis and subsequent sequential regioselective disulfide bond formation. The peptides were synthesized as C-terminal acids (both A- and B-chains with free C-termini, i.e., the native form), amides (both chains as the C-terminal amide) and one analog with the C-terminus of its A-chain as the amide and the C-terminus of the B-chain as the acid. The results showed that C-terminus of the B-chain is more important than that of the A-chain for RXFP4 binding and activity. Amidation of the A-chain C-terminus does not have any effect on the INSL5 activity. The difference in RXFP4 binding and activation between the three peptides is believed to be due to electrostatic interaction of the free carboxylate of INSL5 with a positively charged residue (s), either situated within the INSL5 molecule itself or in the receptor extracellular loops.

  11. Nucleus incertus inactivation impairs spatial learning and memory in rats. (United States)

    Nategh, Mohsen; Nikseresht, Sara; Khodagholi, Fariba; Motamedi, Fereshteh


    Nucleus incertus (NI) is a pontine nucleus which releases mainly GABA and relaxin-3 in rats. Its suggested functions include response to stress, arousal, and modulation of hippocampal theta rhythm. Since the role of NI in learning and memory has not been well characterized, therefore the involvement of this nucleus in spatial learning and memory and the aftermath hippocampal levels of c-fos and pCREB were evaluated. NI was targeted by implanting cannula in male rats. For reference memory, NI was inactivated by lidocaine (0.4 μl, 4%) at three stages of acquisition, consolidation and retrieval in Morris water maze paradigm. For working memory, NI was inactivated in acquisition and retrieval phases. Injection of lidocaine prior to the first training session of reference memory significantly increased the distance moved, suggesting that inactivation of NI delays acquisition in this spatial task. Inactivation also interfered with the retrieval phase of spatial reference memory, as the time in target quadrant for lidocaine group was less, and the escape latency was higher compared to the control group. However, no difference was observed in the consolidation phase. In the working memory task, with inter-trial intervals of 75 min, the escape latency was higher when NI was inactivated in the retrieval phase. In addition, c-fos and pCREB/CREB levels decreased in NI-inhibited rats. This study suggests that nucleus incertus might participate in acquisition of spatial reference, and retrieval of both spatial reference and working memory. Further studies should investigate possible roles of NI in the hippocampal plasticity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Gateways to clinical trials. (United States)

    Tomillero, A; Moral, M A


    (-)-Epigallocatechin gallate, Abafungin, ACE-031, Adapalene/benzoyl peroxide, AE-37, Aflibercept, AGS-003, Albiglutide, Alemtuzumab, Aliskiren fumarate, ALT-801, AN-2728, Anacetrapib, API, Aprepitant, ARQ-197, Ascorbic acid, Atazanavir sulfate, ATN-224, AVI-4658, Azacitidine, Azelnidipine; Belinostat, Bevacizumab, BI-2536, Biphasic insulin aspart, Bortezomib, Bovine lactoferrin, Bryostatin 1, Budesonide/formoterol fumarate; cAC10, Canfosfamide hydrochloride, Cediranib, Clofarabine, Cocaine conjugate vaccine; Darbepoetin alfa, Dasatinib, Denosumab, Disomotide, Doripenem, Dovitinib Lactate, Dronedarone hydrochloride, Drospirenone/estradiol, Dutasteride; Ecogramostim, Entinostat, Enzastaurin hydrochloride, Erlotinib hydrochloride, Everolimus, Exenatide, Ezetimibe, Ezetimibe/simvastatin; Fampridine, Fenretinide LXS, FFR-factor VIIa, Fingolimod hydrochloride, Frovatriptan; Gefitinib, Gimatecan, GP-2/GM-CSF; Iloperidone, Imatinib mesylate, Indibulin, Ipilimumab, Ivabradine hydrochloride; Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lapatinib ditosylate, LC-07, Lenalidomide, Linifanib, Liposomal doxorubicin, Liposomal vincristine, Litenimod, Lutein; M-118, MDX-1401, MEDI-528, Midostaurin, Miglustat, MK-0657; Natalizumab, Nesiritide, NGR-TNF, Niacin/simvastatin; Obatoclax mesylate, Olaparib, Omacetaxine mepesuccinate; Paclitaxel nanoparticles, Paclitaxel-eluting stent, Palonosetron hydrochloride, Pazopanib hydrochloride, Pegfilgrastim, Pemetrexed disodium, PER.C-flu, Perifosine, PF-02341066, Pimecrolimus, Pitrakinra, Plerixafor hydrochloride, Posaconazole; Rasburicase, Recombinant human relaxin H2, ReoT3D, Retaspimycin hydrochloride, Riferminogene pecaplasmid, Rindopepimut, Romiplostim, Ronacaleret hydrochloride, Rosuvastatin calcium, Rotigotine; Sagopilone, sALP-FcD10, SAR-245409, SCH-697243, Selumetinib, Sirolimus-eluting stent, SIR-Spheres, Sitagliptin phosphate monohydrate, Sitaxentan sodium, Sorafenib, Sunitinib malate; Tadalafil, Tandutinib, Tasimelteon, Temsirolimus, Teriparatide

  13. Effectiveness of Biology-Based Methods for Inhibiting Orthodontic Tooth Movement. A Systematic Review. (United States)

    Cadenas de Llano-Pérula, M; Yañez-Vico, R M; Solano-Reina, E; Palma-Fernandez, J C; Iglesias-Linares, A

    Several experimental studies in the literature have tested different biology-based methods for inhibiting or decreasing orthodontic tooth movement (OTM) in humans. This systematic review investigated the effects of these interventions on the rate of tooth movement. Electronic [MedLine; SCOPUS; Cochrane Library; OpenGrey;Web of Science] and manual searches were conducted up to January 26th, 2016 in order to identify publications of clinical trials that compared the decreasing or inhibiting effects of different biology-based methods over OTM in humans. A primary outcome (rate of OTM deceleration/inhibition) and a number of secondary outcomes were examined (clinical applicability, orthodontic force used, possible side effects). Two reviewers selected the studies complying with the eligibility criteria (PICO format) and assessed risk of bias [Cochrane Collaboration's tool]. Data collection and analysis were performed following the Cochrane recommendations. From the initial electronic search, 3726 articles were retrieved and 5 studies were finally included. Two types of biology-based techniques used to reduce the rate of OTM in humans were described: pharmacological and low-level laser therapy. In the first group, human Relaxin was compared to a placebo and administered orally. It was described as having no effect on the inhibition of OTM in humans after 32 days, while the drug tenoxicam, injected locally, inhibited the rate of OTM by up to 10% in humans after 42 days. In the second group, no statistically significant differences were reported, compared to placebo, for the rate of inhibition of OTM in humans after 90 days of observation when a 860 nm continuous wave GaAlA slow-level laser was used. The currently available data do not allow us to draw definitive conclusions about the use of various pharmacological substances and biology-based therapies in humans able to inhibit or decrease the OTM rate. There is an urgent need for more sound well-designed randomized

  14. Quantitative measurement of cell membrane receptor internalization by the nanoluciferase reporter: Using the G protein-coupled receptor RXFP3 as a model. (United States)

    Liu, Yu; Song, Ge; Shao, Xiao-Xia; Liu, Ya-Li; Guo, Zhan-Yun


    Nanoluciferase (NanoLuc) is a newly developed small luciferase reporter with the brightest bioluminescence to date. In the present work, we developed NanoLuc as a sensitive bioluminescent reporter to measure quantitatively the internalization of cell membrane receptors, based on the pH dependence of the reporter activity. The G protein-coupled receptor RXFP3, the cognate receptor of relaxin-3/INSL7, was used as a model receptor. We first generated stable HEK293T cells that inducibly coexpressed a C-terminally NanoLuc-tagged human RXFP3 and a C-terminally enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-tagged human RXFP3. The C-terminal EGFP-tag and NanoLuc-tag had no detrimental effects on the ligand-binding potency and intracellular trafficking of RXFP3. Based on the fluorescence of the tagged EGFP reporter, the ligand-induced RXFP3 internalization was visualized directly under a fluorescence microscope. Based on the bioluminescence of the tagged NanoLuc reporter, the ligand-induced RXFP3 internalization was measured quantitatively by a convenient bioluminescent assay. Coexpression of an EGFP-tagged inactive [E141R]RXFP3 had no detrimental effect on the ligand-binding potency and ligand-induced internalization of the NanoLuc-tagged wild-type RXFP3, suggesting that the mutant RXFP3 and wild-type RXFP3 worked independently. The present bioluminescent internalization assay could be extended to other G protein-coupled receptors and other cell membrane receptors to study ligand-receptor and receptor-receptor interactions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Molecular evolution and functional characterization of Drosophila insulin-like peptides.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Grönke


    Full Text Available Multicellular animals match costly activities, such as growth and reproduction, to the environment through nutrient-sensing pathways. The insulin/IGF signaling (IIS pathway plays key roles in growth, metabolism, stress resistance, reproduction, and longevity in diverse organisms including mammals. Invertebrate genomes often contain multiple genes encoding insulin-like ligands, including seven Drosophila insulin-like peptides (DILPs. We investigated the evolution, diversification, redundancy, and functions of the DILPs, combining evolutionary analysis, based on the completed genome sequences of 12 Drosophila species, and functional analysis, based on newly-generated knock-out mutations for all 7 dilp genes in D. melanogaster. Diversification of the 7 DILPs preceded diversification of Drosophila species, with stable gene diversification and family membership, suggesting stabilising selection for gene function. Gene knock-outs demonstrated both synergy and compensation of expression between different DILPs, notably with DILP3 required for normal expression of DILPs 2 and 5 in brain neurosecretory cells and expression of DILP6 in the fat body compensating for loss of brain DILPs. Loss of DILP2 increased lifespan and loss of DILP6 reduced growth, while loss of DILP7 did not affect fertility, contrary to its proposed role as a Drosophila relaxin. Importantly, loss of DILPs produced in the brain greatly extended lifespan but only in the presence of the endosymbiontic bacterium Wolbachia, demonstrating a specific interaction between IIS and Wolbachia in lifespan regulation. Furthermore, loss of brain DILPs blocked the responses of lifespan and fecundity to dietary restriction (DR and the DR response of these mutants suggests that IIS extends lifespan through mechanisms that both overlap with those of DR and through additional mechanisms that are independent of those at work in DR. Evolutionary conservation has thus been accompanied by synergy

  16. Ascending control of arousal and motivation: role of nucleus incertus and its peptide neuromodulators in behavioural responses to stress. (United States)

    Ma, S; Gundlach, A L


    Arousal is a process that involves the activation of ascending neural pathways originating in the rostral pons that project to the forebrain through the midbrain reticular formation to promote the activation of key cortical, thalamic, hypothalamic and limbic centres. Established modulators of arousal include the cholinergic, serotonergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic networks originating in the pons and midbrain. Recent data indicate that a population of largely GABAergic projection neurones located in the nucleus incertus (NI) are also involved in arousal and motivational processes. The NI has prominent efferent connections with distinct hypothalamic, amygdalar and thalamic nuclei, in addition to dense projections to key brain regions associated with the generation and pacing of hippocampal activity. The NI receives strong inputs from the prefrontal cortex, lateral habenula and the interpeduncular and median raphe nuclei, suggesting it is highly integrated in circuits regulating higher cognitive behaviours (hippocampal theta rhythm) and emotion. Anatomical and functional studies have revealed that the NI is a rich source of multiple peptide neuromodulators, including relaxin-3, and may mediate extra-hypothalamic effects of the stress hormone corticotrophin-releasing factor, as well as other key modulators such as orexins and oxytocin. This review provides an overview of earlier studies and highlights more recent research that implicates this neural network in the integration of arousal and motivated behaviours and has begun to identify the associated mechanisms. Future research that should help to better clarify the connectivity and function of the NI in major experimental species and humans is also discussed. © 2015 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  17. The Florey turns 50. (United States)

    Coghlan, John P


    The origins of the Howard Florey Laboratories of Experimental Physiology, Department of Physiology, The University of Melbourne, are tied to the ground-breaking clinical work of Derek A Denton in 1947 and to the investigations of the initial scientific team into the control of salt and water balance in health and disease over the period 1947-1963 were Professor RD Wright, Drs JR Goding, IR McDonald, John P Coghlan, E Marelyn Wintour and John R Blair-West. An Act of Parliament in 1971 by the Victorian State Government formally established the Institute named after Howard Florey, the Australian Nobel Prize winner who isolated penicillin. The Howard Florey Laboratories/Institute quickly became an international leader in the scientific areas of the physiological control of body fluids and electrolyte balance, especially sodium regulation and the regulation of the secretion of aldosterone, the adrenal salt-retaining hormone; the micro measurement of hormones, in particular steroids and peptides; instinctive ingestive behaviour; fetal fluid regulation; hybridization histochemistry, and the hormone relaxin. Subsequently, the senior staff included, inter alia, Bruce Scoggins, Richard Weisinger, John McDougall, Brian Oldfield, Michael McKinley, Robin McAllen, Hugh Niall, Geoff Tregear and Felix Beck. During the 1990s, an explosion occurred in neuroscience and, in 1997, the Board made the strategic decision to change the focus of the Institute to brain disorders. From 1997 to 2007, Fred Mendelsohn steered the Florey to become one of Australia's premier brain research institutes and, under the current director (the eminent clinician and neuroscientist Geoffrey Donnan), this reputation has been further enhanced. © 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  18. Biology and endocrinology of ovulation, pregnancy and parturition in the dog. (United States)

    Concannon, P W; McCann, J P; Temple, M


    There is considerable variation among bitches in commonly encountered intervals between cycles (5-12 months), durations of anoestrus (1-8 months), durations of follicular phase pro-oestrus (3-21 days) and periovulatory oestrous behavior (3-21 days), intervals from preovulatory LH surge to oestrus onset (-2 to 5 days), and intervals from fertile mating to parturition (57-68 days). The extent of variation within bitches ranges from slight to great. However, there appears to be very little variation in the intervals from LH surge to ovulation (2 days), to post-ovulatory oocyte maturation (approximately 4 days), to implantation (approximately 18 days), to selected developmental stages of pregnancy, or to parturition (64-66 days). There are no tests diagnostic of early pregnancy. The onset times of persistent pregnancy-specific changes have been estimated, including radio-opaque fetal details (Day 46), elevated blood prolactin values (Day 35), elevated blood relaxin values (Day 25), echogenic heart beats (Day 24) and embryonic vesicles (Day 19), and potentially palpable uterine enlargements (Day 21). As in humans, there is an anaemia of pregnancy involving a 30% reduction in haematocrit and an increased incidence of insulin resistance during the second half of gestation. Ovarian progesterone is required throughout pregnancy. LH and prolactin are luteotrophic in the pregnant bitch as well as during the 2-month luteal phase of the non-pregnant bitch. Parturition follows a luteolysis which occurs during an increase in prostaglandin F-2 alpha that begins 36 h pre partum. Factors regulating the duration of anoestrus are not known but termination of anoestrus is associated with increased pulsatile secretion of LH.

  19. Immuno-therapy with anti-CTLA4 antibodies in tolerized and non-tolerized mouse tumor models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas Persson

    Full Text Available Monoclonal antibodies specific for cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (anti-CTLA4 are a novel form of cancer immunotherapy. While preclinical studies in mouse tumor models have shown anti-tumor efficacy of anti-CTLA4 injection or expression, anti-CTLA4 treatment in patients with advanced cancers had disappointing therapeutic benefit. These discrepancies have to be addressed in more adequate pre-clinical models. We employed two tumor models. The first model is based on C57Bl/6 mice and syngeneic TC-1 tumors expressing HPV16 E6/E7. In this model, the HPV antigens are neo-antigens, against which no central tolerance exists. The second model involves mice transgenic for the proto-oncogen neu and syngeneic mouse mammary carcinoma (MMC cells. In this model tolerance to Neu involves both central and peripheral mechanisms. Anti-CTLA4 delivery as a protein or expression from gene-modified tumor cells were therapeutically efficacious in the non-tolerized TC-1 tumor model, but had no effect in the MMC-model. We also used the two tumor models to test an immuno-gene therapy approach for anti-CTLA4. Recently, we used an approach based on hematopoietic stem cells (HSC to deliver the relaxin gene to tumors and showed that this approach facilitates pre-existing anti-tumor T-cells to control tumor growth in the MMC tumor model. However, unexpectedly, when used for anti-CTLA4 gene delivery in this study, the HSC-based approach was therapeutically detrimental in both the TC-1 and MMC models. Anti-CTLA4 expression in these models resulted in an increase in the number of intratumoral CD1d+ NKT cells and in the expression of TGF-β1. At the same time, levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, which potentially can support anti-tumor T-cell responses, were lower in tumors of mice that received anti-CTLA4-HSC therapy. The differences in outcomes between the tolerized and non-tolerized models also provide a potential explanation for the low efficacy

  20. Pilates and mobilization methods in therapy for low back pain among pregnant women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martyna Mączka


    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Bad body posture, insufficient physical activity, excessive body weight gain of pregnant women, with overloads due to pregnancy in their body, results in pain of fatigued muscle. The enlarged uterus with fetus cause the forward shifts of the gravity center which leads to the pelvis forward tilt. This mechanism women compensate by the body posture deflection that leads to lumbar hyperlordosis. In adaptation to the new biomechanical conditions, the iliolumbar and erector spinae muscles are contracted, while the gluteus maximus and abdominal muscles are overstretched. All of these changes are further coused by the increasing levels of relaxin and estrogen hormones in pregnancy, which relax the ligaments and muscles. Muscle weakness and presence of pathological overloads in body leads to lower back pain of the spine. OBJECTIVE: The assessment of lumbar spine pain among women in the third trimester of pregnancy in context of comprehensive therapy of Pilates exercises and lumbar mobilization. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The qualifying interview identified a group of 224 pregnant women with lumbar spine complications. The study was conducted in a targeted manner and all the participants did not have any contraindications from a gynecologist to physical activity during pregnancy. Women who reported sedentary lifestyle, according to pedometer classification, were assigned to a control group (GK with only a lumbar mobilization intervention. On the other hand, women who were active, were arranged in the Pilates exercise also with lumbar mobilization (GP. Respondents received the Oswestry questionnaire to assess the low back pain. The questionnaire was twice conducted - at 26 Hbd and after the period of interventions in 39 Hbd. In addition, women subjectively assessed the severity of pain sensations in the visual analogue pain scale from 0-10. The obtained data were statistically analyzed. THE RESULTS of the evaluation of lumbar spine pain in 39 Hbd

  1. Endocrinologic control of normal canine ovarian function. (United States)

    Concannon, P W


    regression after day 20 to 30 involves periodic cell death, diminution in cell size, low levels of apoptosis and minimal or modest involvement of endogenous prostaglandin F (PGF) production. The canine corpus luteum (CL) is dependent on both LH and prolactin as stimulating luteotrophins by day 15, and as required luteotrophins by days 20-25, if not earlier. Thereafter, both luteotrophins likely have cellular mechanisms of action similar to those reported for other species. Progesterone secretion during pregnancy is greatly enhanced by characteristic, and probably relaxin-stimulated, increases in prolactin concentration starting at or after day 25, and persisting to term. Near term, foetoplacental maturation results in the placental release of large, luteolytic amounts of PGF for 1-2 days pre-partum. Pre-partum luteolysis, like that induced by exogenous prostaglandin, likely involves a cascade enhanced by the removal of progesterone inhibition of PGF release and some degree of intra-luteal PGF synthesis. That a likely twofold or greater increase in progesterone production by the CL of pregnancy does not result in significantly higher serum progesterone than in non-pregnant metoestrus relates to several biological changes, including a large increase in plasma volume of distribution, increased metabolism of progesterone by increased uterine, placental and mammary masses and increased liver clearance and excretion of progesterone and progesterone metabolite. Anoestrus length and ovarian cycle intervals, variable within and among bitches, are likely affected by neuroendocrine components of an endogenous circannual cycle, albeit only photo-entrained in the Basenji breed. This may be modified by the prior luteal phase, exposure to oestrus female pheromones and as yet unknown mechanisms that likely operate via inhibitory opioidergic and/or stimulatory dopaminergic hypothalamic pathways affecting late anoestrus increases in LH.

  2. Vortex dynamics in Josephson junctions arrays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shalom, Diego Edgar


    In this work we study the dynamics of vortices in two-dimensional overdamped Josephson Junctions Arrays (JJA) driven by dc current in a wide range of conditions varying magnetic field and temperature using experiments, numerical simulations and analytic studies.We develop the Fixed Phase method, a variation of numeric relaxation techniques in which we fix and control the phase of some islands, adjacent to the vortex center, while allowing all other phases in the system to relax.In this way we are able to pull and push the vortex uphill, as we are forcing the center of rotation of the vortex currents to be in a defined location, allowing us to calculate the potential energy of a vortex located in any arbitrary position.We use this method to study the potential energy of a vortex in a variety of situations in homogeneous and non-homogeneous JJA, such as arrays with defects, channel arrays and ratchets.We study the finite size effects in JJA by means of analytic and numerical tools.We implement the rings model, in which we replace the two-dimensional square array by a series of square, concentric, uncoupled rings. This is equivalent to disregarding the radial junctions that couple consecutive rings.In spite of its extreme simplicity, this model holds the main ingredients of the magnetic dependence of the energy.We combine this model with other terms that take into account the dependence in the position of the vortex to obtain a general expression for the potential energy of a vortex in a finite JJA with applied magnetic field.We also present an expression for the first critical field, corresponding to the value of the magnetic field in which the entrance of the first vortex becomes energetically favorable.We build and study JJA modulated to form periodic and asymmetrical potentials for the vortices, named ratchet potentials.The experimental results clearly show the existence of a rectification in the motion of vortices in these potentials.Under certain conditions we