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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Relaxin affects the release of oxytocin and vasopressin from the neurohypophysis.

The hormone relaxin has recently been shown to inhibit not only uterine muscle contraction, but also the release of oxytocin into the plasma. Intravenous injection of porcine relaxin in anaesthetized lactating rats inhibits milk ejection and injection of relaxin into the cerebral ventricles disturbs the pattern of the milk ejection reflex. Recent experiments performed in vivo indicate that relaxin might act not only in the uterus, but also in the hypothalamus and possibly in the neurohypophysis. We tested this hypothesis in vitro by studying the effect of relaxin on hormone release from isolated neural lobes of the pituitary and isolated neurosecretory nerve endings of the neurohypophysis from the rat. We report here that relaxin has a dual effect on neurohypophysial hormone secretion. Under basal conditions, vasopressin and oxytocin release was inhibited by relaxin but, when the nerve endings were depolarized, vasopressin and oxytocin secretion was potentiated. We also found that relaxin acts at a stage before the increase in cytoplasmic free Ca2+ that is necessary for inducing hormone release, possibly by gating the calcium channel.[1]


  1. Relaxin affects the release of oxytocin and vasopressin from the neurohypophysis. Dayanithi, G., Cazalis, M., Nordmann, J.J. Nature (1987) [Pubmed]
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