We studied the presence of three natriuretic peptides-atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), human brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), and C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP)-in the human kidney by radioimmunoassay and immunocytochemistry. Immunoreactive ANP, immunoreactive human BNP, and immunoreactive CNP concentrations in six kidneys were 0.12±0.07 (mean±SD), 0.23±0.08, and 0.37±0.07 pmol/g wet wt, respectively. Sephadex G-50 superfine column chromatography and reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography of kidney extracts revealed a broad peak of immunoreactive ANP comigrating with ANP-28 and urodilatin. Renal immunoreactive human BNP consisted of three components; the major component comigrated with human BNP- 32. Renal immunoreactive CNP consisted of at least two components; the major component comigrated with CNP-22, and the minor component eluted in a position similar to that of authentic human CNP-53. Immunocytochemistry showed that immunoreactive human BNP was colocalized with immunoreactive ANP in the segments of distal tubules, whereas immunoreactive CNP was found predominantly in the proximal tubules. These findings indicate that these three natriuretic peptides are present in the human kidney and raise the possibility that they form a renal natriuretic peptide system that participates in the local regulation of sodium and water transport and renal circulation in the human kidney.
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