Relaxin is one of the well known peptide hormones. The hormone was first described by Dustin Ensign in the year 1926. The hormone is present in both male and female. Relaxin is a kind of hormone that increases during pregnancy. Relaxin
Sources of Relaxin
In female bodies relaxin is produced from corpus luteum in the ovary. The breasts too produce some amount of the hormone. During pregnancy, placenta, chorion as well as decidua also produce adequate amount of relaxin.
In male bodies, production of relaxin takes place in testes. The hormone is produced by breaking of an additional peptide chain.
Functions of Relaxin
There are several functions of relaxin. In animals the hormone has a major role to play. But the function of the hormone in human beings is not very clear.
Functions of Relaxin in human
During ovulation the level of relaxin increases in women. At that time corpus lectum produces a higher amount of relaxin. But if pregnancy does not take place, the level of production of the hormone drops considerably at the time of menstruation. The production level also rises during the first trimester of pregnancy. During this time some additional amount of the hormone is also produced at decidua.
Relaxin is known to facilitate the birth process. The hormone softens the cervix and pubic symphysis. Pubic symphysis refers to the area where the pubic bones come together. Relaxin also helps the cervix as well as pubic symphysis to increase. Relaxin also prevents the contraction of the uterus. The hormone also has a major role at the time of delivery. The hormone also reduces the production of collagen and increases collagen breakdown. This helps the child to come out easily.
However a lot of researches are taking place to know the exact roles of the hormone in human bodies during pregnancy.
Function of Relaxin in animals
In case of animals relaxin facilitates labor too. In order to do so, the hormone widens the pubic bone. The hormone also relaxes the uterine muscle structure. Relaxin also softens the cervix. For this reason relaxin is well known as a pregnancy hormone.
But relaxin also has a greater role to play. It has a major influence on the metabolism of collagen. The hormone is a well known inhibitor of collagen synthesis. The hormone increases matrix metalloproteinase that causes collagen breakdown. Relaxin improves angiogenesis. The hormone also is known as a potential renal vasodilator.
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