We examined the effect of human relaxin (hRLX-2) on the biomechanical properties of human fetal membranes in vitro. Intact chorioamniotic membranes were obtained from twelve elective cesarean sections before the onset of labor. Membrane strips with a fixed width were biomechanically tested after incubation for 20 h with hRLX-2 in concentrations of 10(-7) mol/l and 10(-9) mol/l. Incubation with hRLX-2 (10(-9) mol/l) changed the load-strain values as the membrane stiffness was decreased by 19% when compared with controls: median 2.45 N (range, 0.81-4.31) versus 3.03 N (1.28-5.46), P = 0.02 (Mann-Whitney test). For description of the membrane material as such, the stress-strain values were calculated by dividing the load-strain values with the cross sectional area of the membranes. Incubation with hRLX-2 (10(-9) mol/l) decreased the tensile strength of the membranes by 30%-0.817 N/mm2 (0.282-1.139) vs. 0.575 N/mm2 (0.101-1.150), P = 0.03--and reduced the elastic modulus by 31%--2.26 N/mm2 (0.82-5.08) versus 1.57 N/mm2 (0.51-3.71), P = 0.002. Less pronounced effects were found after incubation with hRLX (10(-7) mol/l). No quantitative or qualitative changes of the membrane collagen were found after relaxin incubation. Although the mechanism for rupture of the fetal membranes remains unknown, the present results suggest that relaxin might be involved in the process leading to rupture of the membranes.
|Tidsskrift||European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology|
|Status||Udgivet - nov. 1994|