The peptide hormone relaxin mediates many biological actions including anti-fibrotic, vasodilatory, angiogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and organ protective effects across a range of tissues. At the cellular level, relaxin binds to the G protein-coupled receptor relaxin family peptide receptor 1 (RXFP1) to activate a variety of downstream signal transduction pathways. This signalling cascade is complex and also varies in diverse cellular backgrounds. Moreover, RXFP1 signalling shows crosstalk with other receptors to mediate some of its physiological functions. This review summarises known signalling pathways induced by acute versus chronic treatment with relaxin across a range of cell types, it describes RXFP1 crosstalk with other receptors, signalling pathways activated by other ligands targeting RXFP1, and it also outlines physiological relevance of RXFP1 signalling outputs. Comprehensive understanding of the mechanism of relaxin actions in fibrosis, vasodilation, as well as organ protection, will further support relaxin's clinical potential.
- Insulin-like peptides