International Ophthalmology

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 847–851 | Cite as

Relaxin 2 fails to lower intraocular pressure and to dilate retinal vessels in rats

  • Ulrike HampelEmail author
  • Katharina Träger
  • Hanhan Liu
  • Julia Teister
  • Franz Grus
  • Verena Prokosch-Willing
Original Paper



Recently, the vasodilator relaxin 2 has been introduced as a treatment for acute heart failure. However, its role on vessels of the eye and intraocular pressure (IOP) remains unclear though it has been hypothesized to induce a decrease IOP after intramuscular injection in humans. We aimed to test whether the hormone relaxin 2 lowers IOP and dilates retinal vessels in animals.


The IOP of female Sprague-Dawley rats before and after application of relaxin 2 was measured using an Icare Tonolab device calibrated for rats. Recombinant human relaxin 2 in phosphate-buffered saline with 0.1% bovine serum albumin was either applied as eye drops (1000, 2000 or 3000 ng/ml), injected intravitreally (500 ng/ml) or intravenously (13.3 μg/kg body weight). Retinal vessel thickness was monitored using infrared fundus images compiled with optical coherence tomography (Heidelberg Engineering) before and several time points after application of relaxin 2.


Neither topical nor intravitreous or intravenous application of relaxin 2 lowered the IOP or changed the arterial or venous vessel diameter after 1 or 3 h after application.


Now that relaxin 2 is more easily available, the hormone came again into focus as a potential glaucoma therapeutic. However, our study in rats could not support the hypothesis that relaxin 2 lowers IOP or dilates retinal vessels.


IOP Relaxin Glaucoma Vessel dilation 



This work was supported by DFG Grants HA 6344/2-1 and PR 1569/1-1.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrike Hampel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katharina Träger
    • 2
  • Hanhan Liu
    • 2
  • Julia Teister
    • 2
  • Franz Grus
    • 2
  • Verena Prokosch-Willing
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University MainzMainzGermany
  2. 2.Experimental and Translational Ophthalmology, Department of OphthalmologyUniversity Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University MainzMainzGermany

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