Milk-borne relaxin and reproductive system development

Carol A. Bagnell, Frank F. Bartol


A window of opportunity for maternal programming of neonatal development is open in the first few days of life as a consequence of nursing. Colostrum (first milk) supports neonatal development by providing a conduit for delivery of milk-borne bioactive factors, exemplified by relaxin, from mother to offspring as proposed in the lactocrine hypothesis. Relaxin, a prototypical milk-borne bioactive factor, is detectable in colostrum from multiple species, including the pig. Thus, relaxin serves as a model for understanding lactocrine signals that support development of neonatal tissues.


relaxin; milk; uterus; lactocrine

Full Text:



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY- 4.0)

Firenze University Press
Via Cittadella, 7 - 50144 Firenze
Tel. (0039) 055 2757700 Fax (0039) 055 2757712