Atrial Natriuretic Peptides in Antarctic Fish

  • Maria Angela Masini
  • Maddalena Sturla
  • Eva Pisano
  • Philippe Koubbi
  • Rosella Coradeghini
  • Bianca Maria Uva


Atrial natriuretic factors (ANFs) belong to a family of peptides originally described in mammalian heart. Beside ANPs, two other different types of natriuretic peptides with high sequence similarity have been identified, B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) in the heart of chicken and mammals, and C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) in the brain [1]. Their physiological and pharmacological effects have been extensively studied, their structure is known [2,3], their primary effects in mammals are natriuretic, diuretic and vasorelaxant [4,5]. ANFs are also present in nonmammalian vertebrates including birds [6], reptiles [7,8], amphibians [1,9,10], jawed [1,7,11,12] and jawless fishes [13]. Moreover, there are specific binding sites for ANP in several vertebrates’ tissues. Extracts from fish heart stimulate ion excretion in the trout [14] and are vasodepressor in the quail [15]. In addition, rat ANP stimulates chloride secretion from the killifish opercular membrane in vitro [16]. Together these data indicate that ANFs regulate body water, electrolyte balance and cardiovascular dynamics in vertebrates. To inhabit deep cold water, Antarctic and subAntarctic fish have developed remarkable cardiovascular adaptations like reduction of the number of red blood cells: this adaptation is extreme in Channichthyidae which have erythrocyte-free blood. To compensate for the lack of hemic pigments, the icefish possess a hypertrophic heart [17,18] that generates a high cardiac output [19]; the blood volume is also very large [20].


Natriuretic Peptide Atrial Natriuretic Peptide Atrial Natriuretic Factor Antarctic Fish Heart Homogenate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Angela Masini
    • 1
  • Maddalena Sturla
    • 1
  • Eva Pisano
    • 1
  • Philippe Koubbi
    • 2
  • Rosella Coradeghini
    • 1
  • Bianca Maria Uva
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di Anatomia ComparataUniversità di GenovaGenovaItalia
  2. 2.Université du LittorelFrance

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