Drugs of the future: the hormone relaxin

Chrishan Samuel, Tim Hewitson, Elaine Unemori, Mimi Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


The peptide hormone relaxin is emerging as a multi-functional factor in a broad range of target tissues including several non-reproductive organs, in addition to its historical role as a hormone of pregnancy. This review discusses the evidence that collectively demonstrates the many diverse and vital roles of relaxin: the homeostatic role of endogenous relaxin in mammalian pregnancy and ageing; its gender-related effects; the therapeutic effects of relaxin in the treatment of fibrosis, inflammation, cardioprotection, vasodilation and wound healing (angiogenesis) amongst other pathophysiological conditions, and its potential mechanism of action. Furthermore, translational issues using experimental models (to humans) and its use in various clinical trials, are described, each with important lessons for the design of future trials involving relaxin. The diverse physiological and pathological roles for relaxin have led to the search for its significance in humans and highlight its potential as a drug of the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1539 - 1557
Number of pages19
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Cite this