Natriuretic peptides elicit their biological effects by elevation of cGMP through activation of two biologically active receptors: natriuretic peptide A receptor, which shows high affinity to atrial and brain natriuretic peptides, and natriuretic peptide B receptor, which is specific to C-type natriuretic peptide. To elucidate the implications of the natriuretic peptide system in arteries and veins, we examined the cGMP production in response to atrial and C-type natriuretic peptides and gene expressions of biologically active natriuretic peptide receptors in human gastroepiploic artery, internal mammary artery, and saphenous vein. Atrial natriuretic peptide augmented cGMP production more potently by one order of magnitude in arteries than in veins. C-type natriuretic peptide stimulated cGMP production weakly and equally in these vessels. Analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, gene expression of natriuretic peptide A receptor was four times more abundant in arteries than in veins. Gene expression of natriuretic peptide B receptor was approximately the same between these vessels. We also studied the responsiveness to atrial and C-type natriuretic peptide in rabbit jugular vein grafted into carotid artery. In arterialized vein grafts 4 weeks after operation, the effects of atrial and C-type natriuretic peptides on cGMP production did not change from those in jugular veins. In conclusion, atrial natriuretic peptide stimulates cGMP production more potently in arteries than in veins due to the preferential expression of natriuretic peptide A receptor in arteries. These observations support the distinct roles of natriuretic peptides in cardiovascular homeostasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine