Serum concentrations of relaxin, chorionic gonadotropin, estradiol-17 beta, and progesterone during the reproductive cycle of the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes).
Levels of serum relaxin were measured by a specific RIA and correlated with serum patterns of estradiol-17 beta, progesterone, LH, or cCG during a single menstrual cycle in each of 10 female chimpanzees, and throughout 24 pregnancies in 21 chimpanzees. Significant concentrations of relaxin, higher than those reported for the human being, were detected in serum of nonpregnant chimpanzees during the late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. During pregnancy in the chimpanzee, serum relaxin concentrations, exceeding levels found during the luteal phase, were highest during the first third of gestation, and declined thereafter. Although the absolute concentrations were higher, the patterns of relaxin secretion throughout the reproductive cycle in chimpanzees was qualitatively very similar to that observed in other primates, including the human being. The chimpanzee should thus provide a useful model for examining the role of relaxin in human reproduction.