Vol 121, No 1 (2016)
Original Article

Serum relaxin levels in subjects with multiple sclerosis

Published 2016-06-03


  • inflammation,
  • auto-immunity,
  • pregnancy,
  • peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma

How to Cite

Garvin, R., & Burns, A. (2016). Serum relaxin levels in subjects with multiple sclerosis. Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 121(1), 51–59. Retrieved from https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/ijae/article/view/1551


Multiple Sclerosis is an inflammatory, auto-immune, neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system. The disease has a prevalence of approx 1:700 with at least 2.5 million cases worldwide. It is the leading, non-trauma cause of physical disability among young and middle-aged adults. Recently developed therapies do reduce disease activity but only modestly, with all of the available agents producing significant side effects that reduce compliance, and/or serious risk for adverse events. Relaxin has been long-recognized to play a critical role in pregnancy. Recent investigations have revealed that relaxin may be an important regulator of inflammation and immune processes. This is due to the ability of relaxin to promote the production of glucocorticoid receptors, increase serum levels of the adrenocorticotropic hormone and inhibiting cell-mediated pro-inflammatory activity by stimulation of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma. This study found serum relaxin levels to be elevated in subjects with multiple sclerosis. Production of relaxin is down regulated by a negative feedback loop through its own receptor binding. Decreased receptor binding may contribute to the higher level of relaxin seen in these patients and may lead to dysregulation of the inflammatory and immune pathways.