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Pediatr Res. 1995 Mar;37(3):310-5.

Dietary sodium modulates neonatal but not adult cardiac atrial natriuretic peptide in rats.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22908, USA.


After an initial postnatal diuresis, neonates are in positive sodium balance. Because atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) contributes to sodium homeostasis, this study was designed to evaluate the maturational effects of increased dietary sodium intake on cardiac ANP production. Preweaned Sprague-Dawley rat pups were artificially reared by feeding them either a normal-sodium or high-sodium diet for 7 d and were compared with maternally reared rat pups. Adult rats were divided into three groups: the first group was given ad libitum rat food and 1% sodium chloride to drink, the second group was pair-fed with this group but given tap water to drink, and the third group was fed ad libitum rat food and water for 10 d. Atrial and ventricular pro-ANP and ANP contents and plasma ANP concentrations were measured by RIA. Steady state atrial and ventricular ANP mRNA expression was determined by Northern and dot-blot analysis. There was a 2-fold increase in atrial pro-ANP and ANP content and a 50% decrease in plasma ANP concentration in preweaned rat pups fed a high-salt diet. In contrast, atrial pro-ANP and ANP content and plasma ANP concentration were not affected by increased sodium intake in adult rats. Atrial and ventricular ANP mRNA levels and ventricular pro-ANP and ANP contents were not altered by dietary sodium at either age. We conclude that chronic increase in sodium intake in the preweaning period results in increased storage of atrial pro-ANP. The decrease in plasma ANP concentration in these preweaned rats may be due to reduced basal secretion or enhanced degradation of the peptide.

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