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Gerbes, Alexander L.; Dagnino, L.; Nguyen, T. and Nemer, M. (1994): Transcription of brain natriuretic peptide and atrial natriuretic peptide genes in human tissues. In: The journal of clinical endocrinology & metabolism, Vol. 78: pp. 1307-1311 [PDF, 1MB]

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We have compared the expression of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) genes in various human tissues using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction technique. Tissues of three human subjects, obtained at autopsy, were analyzed. BNP transcripts could be detected in the central nervous system, lung, thyroid, adrenal, kidney, spleen, small intestine, ovary, uterus, and striated muscle. ANP transcripts could also be demonstrated in various human extracardiac tissues including several endocrine organs. In all peripheral tissues, the level of both natriuretic peptide transcripts was approximately 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than in cardiac ventricular tissues. This distribution is in marked contrast to the much lower level of ANP and BNP transcripts present in extracardiac rat tissues (generally less than 1/1000 of ventricles). These data suggest differential expression of the two natriuretic peptide genes in cardiac and extracardiac tissues in man. Furthermore, the presence of local synthesis of ANP and BNP in various peripheral organs suggests paracrine and/or autocrine function of these natriuretic peptides.

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