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

Relaxin increases insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and IGF-binding proteins of the pig uterus in vivo.

Relaxin promotes growth of reproductive tissues, including the uterus. Although we have evidence of a role for insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) in mediating relaxin-induced growth of porcine granulosa cells in vitro, the mechanism of action by which relaxin enhances uterine growth has not been identified. To investigate a role for the uterine insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system in relaxin-induced uterine growth, we monitored the effects of relaxin on porcine IGFs and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) in vivo. The trophic effects of relaxin on the uterus were elicited by administering relaxin or saline to prepubertal gilts every 6 h for 54 h. Three hours after the last injection, uterine flushes, uteri, follicular fluid, and ovaries were collected. Estradiol was measured in plasma and follicular fluid to confirm the prepubertal status of each animal. Significantly higher concentrations of uterine lumen IGF-I (P < 0.05) and IGF-II (P < 0.01) were observed in animals treated with relaxin. However, relaxin administration did not affect uterine IGF-I and -II gene expression, as determined by a ribonuclease protection assay and Northern analysis, respectively. In uterine flushes, relaxin treatment increased an IGFBP doublet (33 and 34.5 kDa) and IGFBP-3. The uterine IGFBP doublet was identified as IGFBP-2 by immunoprecipitation. Plasma or follicular fluid IGFs and IGFBPs were unaffected by relaxin administration. In addition, relaxin did not influence IGF-I binding to its uterine receptor. This is the first study to demonstrate regulation of the pig uterine IGF system by relaxin. In conclusion, the data point to IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-3 as putative mediators of relaxin-induced uterine growth in the pig.[1]


  1. Relaxin increases insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and IGF-binding proteins of the pig uterus in vivo. Ohleth, K.M., Lenhart, J.A., Ryan, P.L., Radecki, S.V., Bagnell, C.A. Endocrinology (1997) [Pubmed]
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