The physiological importance of Atrial Natriuretic Peptide

  • J. Schnermann
  • J. P. Briggs
Conference paper


The enthusiasm with which the discovery of atrial natriuretic peptides (ANP) was met originated in part from the fact that their physiological role appeared to be immediately understandable. The impressive natriuretic potency of ANP together with its location in the cardiac atria suggested that ANP might be responsible for the increase in salt and water excretion known to result from an increase in atrial chamber pressure (25,26). Intense research performed over the past few years in many laboratories now suggests that this view is probably far too limited. Expression of ANP synthesis has been found in a number of tissues other than the cardiac atria and receptor binding studies have indicated target organs other than the kidneys. It is therefore safe to predict that our views of the physiological role of ANP are likely to require adaptations over the coming years. Nevertheless, at this time it seems reasonable to limit the discussion of the physiological importance of ANP to the original concept that it participates in body fluid homeostasis and blood pressure regulation. Figure 1 is a schematic representation of the functional role of ANP as far as it is discussed in this overview.


Atrial Natriuretic Peptide Atrial Natriuretic Factor Water Excretion Renin Secretion Plasma Atrial Natriuretic Peptide 
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Copyright information

© Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Darmstadt 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Schnermann
    • 1
  • J. P. Briggs
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Physiology and MedicineThe University of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA

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