Recently high immunoreactive atrial natriuretic peptide (ir-ANP) levels have been found in the pericardial fluid of patients undergoing cardiac surgery. The present study was designed to characterize pericardial fluid ANP in anesthetized dogs. Pericardial fluid ir-ANP levels were 3.4-fold higher than plasma levels and the molecular form, revealed by high performance liquid chromatography, was indistinguishable from ANP[99-126]. Elimination of [125I]ANP was 5-fold slower in the pericardial space than in plasma. Activity of the major ANP degrading enzyme, neutral endopeptidase NEP, EC 184.108.40.206), was 15-times higher in the pericardial fluid than in plasma. Right atrial balloon distension and rapid right ventricular pacing induced maximally 2.3-fold and 1.5-fold increases of pericardial fluid ir-ANP, respectively. Pericardial fluid ir-ANP concentrations and right atrial pressure values showed significant correlation during the stimuli. Our present results show that high concentrations of ir-ANP can be found in the dog pericardial fluid even under unstimulated conditions. Slow elimination of ANP from the pericardial fluid compartment may contribute to the high peptide levels. However this slow elimination cannot be attributed to a lower NEP activity. High basal levels of ANP in the pericardial fluid could be further increased by atrial balloon stretch and rapid ventricular pacing. The increase of pericardial fluid ir-ANP appeared to be a stretch-dependent response. ANP released into the pericardial fluid may be involved in the regulation of cardiac function and coronary vascular tone.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)