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Determinants of Natriuretic Peptide Production by the Heart
  1. Adolfo J. de Bold,
  2. Mercedes L. Kuroski de Bold
  1. From the Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory (A.J.d.B., M.L.d.B.), University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, ON.
  1. Address correspondence to: Dr. Adolfo J. de Bold, Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa, ON K1Y 4W7; e-mail: adebold{at}

Basic and Clinical Implications


The cardiac natriuretic peptides (NPs) atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) are polypeptide hormones synthesized, stored, and secreted by cardiac muscle cells (cardiocytes). The NPs modulate extracellular fluid volume and blood pressure and have potent growth-regulating properties, which make them of great interest for cardiac remodeling in acute myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure. We have observed that the production of NP can be coordinately or discoordinately regulated. In the former type, muscle stretch-elicited secretion triggers signals mediated by Gi/o protein, whereas agonists such as endothelin 1 independently signal through Gq. Discoordinated regulation is observed following stimulations by some cytokines, which selectively up-regulate BNP. This regulation takes place at the translational and transcriptional levels and is dependent on a p38 signaling pathway. Further details of processes regulating NP secretion need to be defined to develop a comprehensive view of the endocrine function of the heart. Nevertheless, translational research in the area of NPs has demonstrated the usefulness of these hormones as a marker of disease and as potential therapeutic agents. The latter application of NP is particularly attractive given that ANF and BNP possess pharmacologic actions that require polypharmacy in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure.

Key Words
  • natriuretic peptides
  • acute myocardial infarction
  • congestive heart failure
  • therapeutic infusion

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