Circulating relaxin concentrations in the human rise in the late luteal phase and increase further in response to increasing circulating CG concentrations immediately after implantation. Similar events have not been documented in the laboratory macaque because of the lack of sensitivity of heterologous assay systems. A homologous enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay for authentic macaque relaxin was developed and validated. Using this enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay, relaxin concentrations were measured in peripheral and ovarian venous blood collected from cynomolgus and rhesus macaques. Relaxin concentrations rose in the late luteal phase of nonconceptive menstrual cycles in cynomolgus macaques, but it was not detected at other times in the cycle. In conceptive cycles, relaxin concentrations rose rapidly in close association with the appearance of mCG 13-14 days after mating. Pregnant rhesus macaques also had elevated relaxin concentrations in blood samples collected on days 15-17 postbreeding. Relaxin concentrations disappeared immediately after luteectomy or ablation of the trophoblast by either surgery or administration of methotrexate. The rise of relaxin paralleled the rise of mCG until 20-25 days postbreeding, while progesterone concentrations declined during this same time period. The lack of correlation between relaxin and progesterone secretion profiles suggests that either the cellular origins or the intracellular mechanisms promoting the secretion of these hormones are different. The periimplantational profile of serum relaxin in macaques was similar to the profile of relaxin observed during early human pregnancy.
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