The natriuretic, diuretic, and hypotensive responses to infused atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) were measured in rats 4 weeks after myocardial infarction induced by coronary artery ligation. Rat [1-28]-ANP was infused intravenously in doses of 0.1, 0.3, and 1.0 μg/kg/min for 30 min each under pentobarbital anesthesia. There was a marked natriuresis, diuresis, and fall in blood pressure in rats with infarction but each response was significantly attenuated when compared with sham-operated controls (ANOVA: p < 0.01, p < 0.05, and p < 0.01, respectively). Urinary cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) excretion in rats with infarction was higher than that of controls but rose to the same absolute level in both groups in response to ANP infusion (0.3 μg/kg/min). Reduced ANP responsiveness may result from impaired postreceptor mechanisms or from physiological antagonism by angiotensin II. Reduced ANP responsiveness may partly explain impaired salt handling in heart failure.
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