Atrial Natriuretic Factor

  • Nick C. Trippodo
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 35)


Mammalian atrial myocytes contain specific granules that store a powerful rapidly acting natriuretic/diuretic factor, which is referred to as the atrial natriuretic factor (ANF). So far, ANF has been found in atrial extracts from rat, rabbit, dog, baboon and man. Injection of partially purified rat ANF into rats results in up to a 50-fold increase in urinary sodium chloride excretion within 10 minutes. The effect of ANF appears to be caused by inhibition of sodium chloride reabsorption in the ascending limb of Henley’s loop or in the medullary collecting duct; although, alterations in intrarenal hemodynamics may also participate. The exact mechanism by which ANF alters renal tubular transport is unknown, but the substance does not appear to inhibit sodium-potassium ATPase. ANF does not act through release of a substance from the brain, does not require the intact nervous system for its action and is active in the isolated kidney. Biochemical studies suggest that ANF consists of one or more peptides with molecular weights of 4,000–6,000 daltons. It is also probable that one or more larger molecular species of ANF exist. Currently, the most reliable method for measuring ANF activity is to inject unknown test substances into anesthetized rats and determine the effect on renal sodium excretion. It is not known whether the atrial natriuretic factor is released into the blood stream, and thus its physiological relevance has not been determined. Elucidating the chemical structure of this powerful endogenous natriuretic substance and understanding its mechanism of action in the kidney may lead to the development of new specific diuretic drugs for treating millions of patients with hypertension and heart failure.


Atrial Natriuretic Factor Atrial Myocytes Specific Granule Natriuretic Response Renal Sodium Excretion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    de Bold AJ, Borenstein HB, Veress AT, Sonnenberg H: A rapid and potent natriuretic response to intravenous injection of atrial myocardial extract in rats. Life Sci (28):89–94, 1981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Trippodo NC, MacPhee AA, Cole FE, Blakesley HL: Partial chemical characterization of a natriuretic substance in rat atrial heart tissue. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med (170):502–508, 1982.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Trippodo NC, MacPhee AA, Cole FE: Partially purified human and rat atrial natriuretic factor. Hypertension 5 (suppl I):I-81–I-88, 1983.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kisch, B: Electron microscopy of the atrium of the heart. 1. Guinea pig. Exp Med Surg (14):99–112, 1956.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jamieson JD, Palade GE: Specific granules in atrial muscle cells. J Cell Biol (23):151–172, 1964.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hibbs R, Ferrans VJ: An ultrastructural and histochemical study of rat atrial myocardium. Am J Anat (124):251–280, 1969.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Huet M, Benchimol S, Castonguay Y, Cantin M: The chemical nature of human atrial specific granules. In: Roy PE, Harris P (eds), Recent advances in studies on carcTiac structure and metabolism, Volume 8, University Park Press, Baltimore 1975, pp 59–76.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    de Bold AJ: Heart atria granularity: effects of changes in water-electrolyte balance. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med (161):508–511, 1979.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Marie JP, Guillemot H, Hatt PY: Le degree de granulation des cardiocytes auriculaires. Etude planimetrique au cours des different apports d’eau et de sodium chez le rat. Pathol Biol (24):549, 1976.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sonnenberg H, Chong CK, Veress AT: Cardiac atrial factor -an endogenous diuretic? Can J Physiol Pharmacol (59):1278–1279, 1981.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cupples WA, Veress AT, de Bold AJ, Sonnenberg H: Effect of cardiac atrial extract on segmental nephron transport in the rat kidney. Fed Proc (40):554, 1981 (Abstract).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Briggs JP, Steipe B, Schubert G, Schnermann J: Micropuncture studies of the renal effects of atrial natriuretic substance. Pflugers Arch (395):271–276, 1982.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kleinert HD, Camargo MJF, Sealey JE, Laragh JH, Maack T: Hemodynamic and natriuretic effects of atrial extract in isolated perfused rat kidney. Physiologist (25):298, 1982 (Abstract).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Link WT, Pamnani MB, Huot SJ, Haddy FJ: Effect of atrial extract on vascular Na -K pump activity. Physiologist (24):59, 1981 (Abstract).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Thibault G, Garcia R, Cantin M, Genest J: Atrial natriuretic factor. Characterization and partial purification. Hypertension 5(suppl I):I-75–I-80, 1983.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pamnani M, Huot S, Jagusiak M, Link W, Haddy FJ: Effect of atrial extract on hemodynamics in rats. Physiologist (25):330, 1982 (Abstract).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    de Bold A J: Atrial natriuretic factor of the rat heart. Studies on isolation and properties. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med (170):133–138, 1982.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    de Bold AJ, Flynn TG: Cardionatrin I. A potent diuretic and natriuretic peptide isolated from the heart atria. Fed Proc (42):611, 1983.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Montini J, Bagby GJ, Burns AH, Spitzer J J: Exogenous substrate utilization in Ca -tolerant myocytes from adult rat hearts. Am J Physiol 240 (Heart Circ Physiol 9):H659 - H663, 1981.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Trippodo NC, MacPhee AA, Cole FE: Natriuretic factor in isolated rat atrial myocytes. J Mol Cell Cardiol 14 (Suppl 1):65, 1982.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    de Bold AJ: Tissue fractionation studies on the relationship between an atrial natriuretic factor and specific atrial granules. Can J Physiol Pharmacol (60):324–330, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Garcia R, Cantin M, Thibault G, Ong H, Genest J: Relationship of specific granules to the natriuretic and diuretic activity of rat atria. Experientia (38):1071–1073, 1982.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Trippodo NC, MacPhee AA, Blakesley HL, Cole FE: Standardization of biological assay of atrial natriuretic factor (ANF). The ANF unit. Fed Proc (42):475, 1983.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston/The Hague/Dordrecht/Lancaster 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nick C. Trippodo

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations