Reproductive hormones and their effects
Many of the peptide hormones and growth factors synthesized within the gonads also act on neighbouring cells in a paracrine manner. Included among these are relaxin, a member of the insulin family of genes and the transforming growth factors. We have found relaxin in the non-pregnant ovary and in the testis and are examining its effects on cell growth, steroidogenesis and tissue remodelling in the reproductive tract. We are using relaxin to treat human cervical cells in vitro to determine which proteases are involved in cervical softening.
Cell culture, hormone assays, blotting, RT-PCR.