To assess the physiological role of atrial natriuretic factors in blood pressure regulation, we studied the effect of chronic infusion of a synthetic atrial natriuretic factor of 25 amino acid residues (Arg 102-Tyr 126) in rats with angiotensin II-induced hypertension. Rats were studied while on a normal sodium diet or during sodium loading with 1% NaCl solution used as drinking water. Systolic blood pressure decreased slightly during combined infusion of synthetic atrial natriuretic factor, 150 μg/kg/day, and angiotensin II, 900 μg/kg/day. This effect was sustained for 3 days in rats receiving a regular sodium intake (p<0.01) and during sodium loading (p<0.01). Administration of synthetic atrial natriuretic factor to rats made hypertensive by a 3-day infusion of angiotensin II reduced blood pressure slightly, but not to control levels, and this effect was sustained for the remaining 3 days of the experiment in both dietary groups. These results indicate that a nonhypotensive dose of synthetic atrial natriuretic factor can modulate the vasopressor effect of angiotensin II. Thus, the attenuating effect may be involved in blood pressure regulation independently or sodium metabolism, although its actual physiological importance remains undetermined.
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