The presence of immunoreactive human brain natriuretic peptide in the human brain was studied with a specific radioimmunoassay for human brain natriuretic peptide-32. This assay showed no significant cross-reaction with human alpha atrial natriuretic peptide, porcine brain natriuretic peptide or rat brain natriuretic peptide. Immunoreactive human brain natriuretic peptide was found in all 5 regions of human brain examined (cerebral cortex, thalamus, cerebellum, pons and hypothalamus) (0.6-6.7 pmol/g wet weight, n = 3). These values were comparable to the concentrations of immunoreactive alpha atrial natriuretic peptide in human brain (0.5-10.1 pmol/g wet weight). However, Sephadex G-50 column chromatography showed that the immunoreactive human brain natriuretic peptide in the human brain eluted earlier than synthetic human brain natriuretic peptide-32. These findings suggest that human brain natriuretic peptide is present in the human brain mainly as larger molecular weight forms.
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