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Relaxin: Review of Biology and Potential Role in Treating Heart Failure

  • Author(s): Teichman, Sam L.
  • Unemori, Elaine
  • Teerlink, John R.
  • Cotter, Gad
  • Metra, Marco
  • et al.
Abstract

Relaxin is a naturally occurring human peptide initially identified as a reproductive hormone. More recently, relaxin has been shown to play a key role in the maternal hemodynamic and renal adjustments that accommodate pregnancy. An understanding of these physiologic effects has led to the evaluation of relaxin as a pharmacologic agent for the treatment of patients with acute heart failure. Preliminary results have been encouraging. In addition, the other known biologic properties of relaxin, including anti-inflammatory effects, extracellular matrix remodeling effects, and angiogenic and anti-ischemic effects, all may play a role in potential benefits of relaxin therapy. Ongoing, large-scale clinical testing will provide additional insights into the potential role of relaxin in the treatment of heart failure.

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