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-30-450525978, E-mail: jochen.springer@charite.de increase renal excretion of sodium and chloride, as well as urine volume. This peptide was later named atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), and its structure was clarified by Japanese investigators in 1984 (2). Since the discovery of ANP, particular interest in natriuretic peptide research led to the identification of other natriuretic peptide families: brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) (3), C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) (4), and dendroaspis natriuretic peptide (DNP) (5). BNP and CNP were identified in porcine brain and DNP was

Abstract

The natriuretic peptide family comprises atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), dendroaspis natriuretic peptide (DNP), and urodilatin. The activities of natriuretic peptides and endothelins are strictly associated with each other. ANP and BNP inhibit endothelin-1 (ET-1) production. ET-1 stimulates natriuretic peptide synthesis. All natriuretic peptides are synthesized from polypeptide precursors. Changes in natriuretic peptides and endothelin release were observed in many cardiovascular diseases: e.g. chronic heart failure, left ventricular dysfunction and coronary artery disease.

(CNP), urodilatin, and dendroaspis natriuretic peptide (DNP) (1, 7, 114). These hormone peptides are synthesized as prepro-hormones (i.e., preproANP and preproBNP), containing an NH2-terminus signal pep- tide. The pro-hormones are then cleaved in two fragments: the longer fragment includes the NH2-ter- minus (NT-proANP and NT-proBNP), while the shorter fragment (i.e., COOH-terminus fragment) represents the active hormone (ANP and BNP). ANP and BNP show a faster clearance than NT-proANP and NT-proBNP and, consequently, lower circulating levels (Table 4) (1, 7, 114