Periodic injections of Relaxin 2, its pharmacokinetics and remodeling of rat hearts

pubmed: wnt1 2024-06-11

Biochem Pharmacol. 2024 May;223:116136. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2024.116136. Epub 2024 Mar 15.


Relaxin-2 (RLX), a critical hormone in pregnancy, has been investigated as a therapy for heart failure. In most studies, the peptide was delivered continuously, subcutaneously for 2 weeks in animals or intravenously for 2-days in human subjects, for stable circulating [RLX]. However, pulsatile hormone levels may better uncover the normal physiology. This premise was tested by subcutaneously injecting Sprague Dawley rats (250 g, N = 2 males, 2 females/group) with human RLX (0, 30, 100, or 500 µg/kg), every 12 h for 1 day, then measuring changes in Nav1.5, connexin43, and β-catenin, 24 h later. Pulsatile RLX was measured by taking serial blood draws, post-injection. After an injection, RLX reached a peak in ∼ 60 min, fell to 50 % in 5-6 h; injections of 0, 30, 100 or 500 µg/kg yielded peak levels of 0, 11.26 ± 3.52, 58.33 ± 16.10, and 209.42 ± 29.04 ng/ml and residual levels after 24-hrs of 0, 4.9, 45.1 and 156 pg/ml, respectively. The 30 µg/kg injections had no effect and 100 µg/kg injections increased Nav1.5 (25 %), Cx43 (30 %) and β-catenin (90 %). The 500 µg/kg injections also increased Nav1.5 and Cx43 but were less effective at upregulating β-catenin (up by 25 % vs. 90 %). Periodic injections of 100 µg/kg were highly effective at increasing the expression of Nav1.5 and Cx43 which are key determinants of conduction velocity in the heart and the suppression of arrhythmias. Periodic RLX is effective at eliciting changes in cardiac protein expression and may be a better strategy for its longer-term delivery in the clinical setting.

PMID:38494063 | DOI:10.1016/j.bcp.2024.116136