Primate preimplantation embryo is a target for relaxin during early pregnancy

Catherine A. Vandevoort, Namdori R. Mtango, Keith E. Latham, Dennis R. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether preimplantation embryos are targets for relaxin secreted from the corpus luteum of the menstrual cycle. Design: Rhesus monkey oocytes obtained from females undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation were inseminated, and the resulting embryos were cultured in medium with or without recombinant human relaxin (20 ng/mL) for 8 days. Setting: Research laboratory. Animal(s): Rhesus monkey. Intervention(s): Controlled ovarian stimulation to obtain oocytes for in vitro-produced embryos that were cultured with or without human recombinant relaxin. Main Outcome Measure(s): Rate of blastocyst development, percentage of blastocysts, and inner cell mass/trophectoderm cell ratio were measured on day 8 of culture. The presence of relaxin receptor (RXFP1) messenger RNA in eight-cell embryos was observed by array hybridization. Result(s): RXFP1 receptor expression was localized to the inner cell mass of blastocysts, as shown by immunohistochemistry. The percentage of embryos that developed to blastocyst and the inner cell mass/trophectoderm cell ratio was unchanged with relaxin supplementation; however, the relaxin-treated embryos developed into blastocysts significantly sooner than untreated embryos. Conclusion(s): These results are the first evidence that the preimplantation primate embryo is a target for relaxin and that the addition of relaxin to in vitro culture medium enhances rhesus monkey embryo development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • blastocyst
  • Gene expression
  • granulosa cells
  • rhesus macaque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Primate preimplantation embryo is a target for relaxin during early pregnancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this