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J Physiol. 2001 Oct 1;536(Pt 1):199-209.

Temperature has a major influence on cardiac natriuretic peptide in salmon.

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Department of Physiology, Biocenter Oulu, POB 5000, FIN-90014 University of Oulu, Finland.


1. Natriuretic peptides have a major role in fluid and electrolyte homeostasis in vertebrates. Ambient temperature has a major influence on physiological processes in ectothermic animals. Here we have studied the mechanisms of regulation of a natriuretic peptide, sCP (salmon cardiac peptide), in salmon (Salmo salar) acclimatised and acclimated to varying temperatures. 2. The circulating and cardiac levels of sCP were found to be markedly upregulated in warm-acclimatised and warm-acclimated salmon. The release of sCP from isolated in vitro perfused salmon ventricle was, however, not increased by acclimation to higher temperatures, either in basal conditions or when stimulated by mechanical load. 3. Concomitant measurements of circulating sCP and the biologically inert N-terminal fragment of pro-sCP showed that the upregulation of circulating sCP at warm ambient temperature results from decreased elimination rather than increased secretion of sCP. This is the first direct evidence that changes in the elimination of a natriuretic peptide are used for important physiological regulation. 4. We found a paradoxical increase in cardiac sCP mRNA levels at cold temperatures which coincided with hypertrophy of the heart. sCP gene expression may therefore serve as a marker of cardiac hypertrophy in salmon, in analogy to that of atrial and brain natriuretic peptide (ANP and BNP, respectively) in mammals. 5. These results show that temperature has a major influence on the regulation of natriuretic peptide production and clearance in salmon. Salmon CP offers a novel model for the study of the endocrine function of the heart.

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