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Am J Physiol. 1995 Sep;269(3 Pt 2):H1003-8.

Age-associated increase in rat ventricular ANP gene expression correlates with cardiac hypertrophy.

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Gerontology Research Center, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.


Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), a cardiac-specific hormone, is stored in the atria and released in response to atrial stretch. During cardiac hypertrophy, ANP gene expression is markedly upregulated in the left ventricle (LV). Because the hearts of normotensive senescent rats exhibit left atrial (LA) and left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and dilatation, we examined ANP mRNA levels by Northern blot analysis and ANP peptide concentrations by radioimmunoassay in atria, LVs, and plasma of rats at 2, 6, 18, and 22-24 mo of age. Compared with LVs of 6-mo-old rats, the LV-to-body weight ratio was elevated 30% by 18 mo of age, whereas levels of ANP mRNA were elevated twofold (not significant) and sevenfold (P < 0.05) in the LV of 18- and 22- to 24-mo-old rats, respectively. The concentration of immunoreactive ANP (ir-ANP) exhibited a four- to fivefold increase in LVs of 18- and 22- to 24-mo-old rats compared with values for 6-mo-old rats (43 +/- 4 pmol/g wet wt; means +/- SE). Among 18-and 22- to 24-mo-old rats a significant correlation was observed between ANP peptide concentration and LV hypertrophy (r 2 = 0.64). Levels of ANP mRNA and ir-ANP in the atria exhibited only modest changes with aging.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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