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Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2006 Apr;50(2):198-207. Epub 2006 May 23.

The broad homeostatic role of natriuretic peptides.

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  • Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Department of Medicine, Weill Medical College, Cornell University, New York, NY, USA. tmaack@me.cornell.edu


A brief non-inclusive review on natriuretic peptides (NP), their receptors, and their main functional properties is presented. The three main NP, atrial (ANP), brain (BNP) and C-type (CNP) are considered. Guanylyl cyclase receptors modulate all the known systemic effects of NP. Clearance receptors determine the metabolic disposal of NP and in this manner regulate their plasma levels and/or local tissue concentrations. Structure-function properties, and homeostatic properties of NP receptors are presented. ANP, which plays a major role in pressure-volume homeostasis, is discussed in relationship to its effects on renal hemodynamic and excretory functions, inhibition of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, vasorelaxant, and third-spacing action. For BNP special attention is directed to its role as a negative modulator of ventricular remodeling, in view of its anti-hypertrophic, anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory effects in the heart. The major effect of CNP in promoting vertebral and longitudinal bone growth is briefly addressed. Finally, emphasis is placed on the recent discovery that ANP affects fat metabolism in humans due to its powerful lipolytic action.

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