Extension Number

ASL R1551


Reproduction and Physiology

Publication Date



These studies were designed to determine whether continuous intravenous infusion of increasing dosages of porcine relaxin during late pregnancy in beef heifers would influence circulating blood concentrations of relaxin, progesterone, and oxytocin, and time of onset of parturition. Beef heifers were bred by artificial insemination and, on Day 277, fitted with indwelling jugular cannulas for hormone infusion and blood sampling from Day 277 to 286. Intravenous infusion of purified porcine relaxin (pRLX, 3000 U mg-1) was started in heifers (n = 8) at increasing dosages (200 U h-1 on Days 277 and 278, 300 U h-1 on Days 279 and 280, 500 U h-1 on Day 281, 600 U h-1 on Day 282, and 700 U h-1 on Days 283 to 286). Phosphate buffer saline (PBS, 10 ml h-1) was infused during these same times to control (n = 6) animals. Relaxin treatment steadily increased the circulating plasma concentration of immunoreactive relaxin to more than 120 ng ml-1 compared with less than 0.5 ng ml-1 in PBStreated controls. Relaxin infusion in increasing dosages over the treatment time was associated with a significant decrease (P < 0.01) in plasma progesterone concentration compared with the PBS controls. Plasma levels of oxytocin at 4- hour intervals remained similar (P > 0.05) during the pretreatment period and throughout continuous infusion of pRLX and PBS. Although continuous intravenous infusion of relaxin resulted in a decrease in circulating blood levels of progesterone, it did not significantly reduce the interval between the beginning of pRLX treatment and parturition compared with the PBS-infused control heifers. These results indicate that continuous intravenous infusion of high levels of porcine relaxin resulted in a decrease in progesterone secretion in late pregnant beef heifers.

Copyright Owner

Iowa State University



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