Endocrine and Neuroendocrine Actions of Cardiac Peptides

  • Willis K. Samson
  • Robert L. Eskay
Part of the GWUMC Department of Biochemistry Annual Spring Symposia book series (GWUN)


The presence of secretory granules in atrial myocytes (Jamieson and Palade, 1964) suggested that the heart, in addition to its muscular function, might be a secretory organ. More recently, the function of these secretorylike granules became apparent when deBold (1979) demonstrated that water deprivation resulted in an increase in granularity of the atria, suggesting a role for these specific granules, or their contents, in the regulation of water and electrolyte balance. Later, his group (deBold et al., 1981) demonstrated that saline extracts of atrial tissues, when injected intravenously (i.v.) into anesthetized rats, caused a rapid and potent increase in urinary sodium and chloride excretion and urine flow. They further speculated that atrial extracts contained a substance that inhibited renal tubular sodium chloride reabsorption and that the atria, a tissue known to monitor intravascular volume (Gauer et al., 1961), could be the source of hormonal agents that controlled fluid volume via renal mechanisms. There soon followed a virtual flood of reports detailing the renal and vascular effects of partially purified atrial extracts, culminated by the reports by several groups (Flynn et al., 1983; Atlas et al., 1984; Geller et al., 1984; Misono et al., 1984; and Scidah et al., 1984) of the isolation, purification, sequencing, and synthesis of a family of peptides from atrial extracts that possess the natriuretic/diuretic and/or spasmolytic effects of the crude extracts.


Atrial Natriuretic Peptide Median Eminence Atrial Natriuretic Factor ACTH Release Natriuretic Effect 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Willis K. Samson
    • 1
  • Robert L. Eskay
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Texas Health Science Center at DallasDallasUSA
  2. 2.Section of Neurochemistry, Laboratory of Clinical Studies, Division of Intramural, Clinical and Biologic ResearchNational Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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