Atrial natriuretic peptide induces apoptosis in neonatal rat cardiac myocytes

Can Fang Wu, Nanette H. Bishopric, Richard E. Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

223 Scopus citations


Early heart failure is characterized by elevated plasma atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) levels, but little is known about the direct effects of ANP on cardiac myocytes. In neonatal rat cardiac myocytes, ANP induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent and cell type-specific manner. Maximum effects occurred at 1 μM ANP, with a 4-5-fold increase in apoptotic cells, reaching a maximum apoptotic index of 19%. In contrast, the maximum apoptotic index of ANP-treated non-myocytes was 1.1 ± 0.2%, equivalent to control cultures. ANP treatment also sharply reduced levels of Mcl-1 mRNA, a Bcl-2 homologue, coincident with the increase in the incidence of apoptosis. ANP induction of apoptosis was receptor-dependent and mediated by cyclic GMP: the effect was mimicked by 8-bromo-cGMP, a membrane-permeable analog, and by sodium nitroprusside, an activator of soluble guanylyl cyclase, and was potentiated by a cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase inhibitor, zaprinast. Interestingly, norepinephrine, a myocyte growth factor, inhibited ANP- induced apoptosis via activation of the β-adrenergic receptor and elevation of cyclic AMP. These results show that ANP is a specific effector of cardiac myocyte apoptosis in culture via receptor-mediated elevation of cGMP. Furthermore, at least in this model, ANP and norepinephrine may have opposing roles in the modulation of cardiac myocyte growth and survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14860-14866
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 6 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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