In the RELAX-AHF trial, a 48 h i.v. serelaxin infusion reduced systemic vascular resistance in patients with acute heart failure. Consistent with preclinical studies, serelaxin augments endothelial vasodilator function in rat mesenteric arteries. Little is known about the contribution of endothelium-derived relaxing factors after a longer duration of continuous serelaxin treatment. Here we have assessed vascular reactivity and mechanistic pathways in mesenteric arteries and veins and the aorta after 48 or 72 h continuous i.v. infusion of serelaxin.Male rats were infused with either placebo or serelaxin (13.3 μg·kg(-1) ·h(-1) ) via the jugular vein using osmotic minipumps. Vascular function was assessed using wire myography. Changes in gene and protein expression and 6-keto PGF1α levels were determined by quantitative PCR, Western blot and ELISA respectively.Continuous i.v. serelaxin infusion augmented endothelium-dependent relaxation in arteries (mesenteric and aorta) but not in mesenteric veins. In mesenteric arteries, 48 h i.v. serelaxin infusion increased basal NOS activity, associated with increased endothelial NOS (eNOS) expression. Interestingly, phosphorylated-eNOS(Ser1177) , eNOS and basal NOS activity were reduced in mesenteric arteries following 72 h serelaxin treatment. At 72 h, serelaxin treatment improved bradykinin-mediated relaxation through COX2-derived PGI2 production.Continuous i.v. serelaxin infusion enhanced endothelial vasodilator function in arteries but not in veins. The underlying mediator at 48 h was NO but there was a transition to PGI2 by 72 h. Activation of the PGI2 -dependent pathway is key to the prolonged vascular response to serelaxin treatment.