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Role of Relaxin in Maternal Systemic and Renal Vascular Adaptations during Gestation


Address for correspondence: Kirk P. Conrad, Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, University of Florida College of Medicine, 1600 SW Archer Rd., Gainesville, FL 32610. Voice: +352 392 2798; fax: +352 846 0270.


In this paper, the hemodynamic changes of normal pregnancy are reviewed and the underlying hormonal and molecular mechanisms are discussed. Among other findings related to these phenomena, our previous work has demonstrated the importance of relaxin in systemic and renal vascular as well as osmoregulatory changes during gestation. These findings are summarized, and new concepts related to the function of relaxin in blood vessels are presented. Finally, work in progress is briefly outlined.