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J Vet Cardiol. 2009 May;11 Suppl 1:S9-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jvc.2009.01.001. Epub 2009 Mar 14.

The evolution of the natriuretic peptides - Current applications in human and animal medicine.

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Cardiology Division and Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Yawkey, Boston, MA 5984, USA.


Although natriuretic peptides have played an important role in the fluid homeostasis of vertebrates for over several million years, their importance has only been noticed in the last few decades. Yet, the family of natriuretic peptides have since their discovery, drawn the attention of a broad spectrum of physicians and researchers involved in the maintenance of fluid homeostasis, including marine biologists, basic scientists, physicians and veterinarians. While all natriuretic peptides share a common phylogenetic background, due to differences in receptor-binding affinities, they have evolved into different hormones with clear distinct functions. B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is the most studied member of the natriuretic peptide family, and together with its cleavage equivalent amino-terminal proB-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) these peptides have emerged as important cardiovascular serum markers. However, since their introduction, physicians involved in human or animal medicine have faced common but also different challenges in order to optimally interpret the diagnostic and prognostic value of these novel cardiovascular biomarkers.

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