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Atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) or atriopeptin, is a peptide hormone involved in the homeostatic control of body water and sodium.


ANF is a 28 amino acid peptide with a 17 AA ring, and is closely related to BNP (Brain Natriuretic Peptide, but produced largely in the heart) and CNP (C-type Natriuretic Peptide) which all share the same amino acid ring. ANF was discovered in 1981 by a team in Ottawa led by Mercedes Kuroski de Bold after they made the seminal observation that injection of atrial (but not ventricular) tissue extracts into rats caused copious natriuresis.

ANF is released by walls of the cardiac atrium in response to high sodium concentration or stretching of the atria. Causes of stretching include high extracellular fluid volume, high blood volume, and atrial fibrillation. Notably, it is secreted in response to immersion of the body in water, which causes an atrial stretch due to altered distribution of intravascular fluid. It has been shown that in horses, it is also released in response to exercise. Once released, ANF then acts via various mechanisms to excrete Na, and to cause vasodilation in the circulatory system.

Physiological effectsEdit


  • Dilates the afferent glomerular arteriole, constricts the efferent glomerular arteriole, and relaxes the mesangial cells. This increases the glomerular filtration rate, resulting in greater excretion of Na+ and water.
  • Inhibits renin secretion.


  • Relaxes vascular smooth muscle in arterioles and venules and opposes the pressor effects of catecholamines and Angiotensin-II


There are three distinct receptors identified so far in mammals, natriuretic peptide receptors A, B and C (NPRA, NPRB and NPRC).

NPRA and NPRB are linked to guanylyl cyclases, while NPRAC is G-protein linked and furthermore is a "clearance receptor" which acts to internalise and destroy the ligand.

Other natriuretic factorsEdit

In addition to the mammalian natriuretic factors (ANP, BNP, CNP), two other peptides have been isolated. Tervonen (1998) described a salmon natriuretic factor (Salmon cardiac peptide) with a similar structure and properties and Dendroaspis Natriuretic Peptide (DNP) was discovered in the venom of the green mamba by Schweitz et al. (1992).


De Bold AJ 1985 Atrial natriuretic factor: a hormone produced by the heart. Science 230:767–770.

Clemo HF, Baumgarten CM, Stambler BS, Wood MA, Ellenbogen KA. Atrial natriuretic factor: implications for cardiac pacing and electrophysiology. PACE Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 1994;17:70-91.

Tervonen et al., 1998 Endocrinology 139:4021-4025.

Kokkonen et al., 2000 Am J Physiol 278: E285-E292.


Target-derived NGF, BDNF, NT-3


Urinary system - Kidney - edit
Renal capsule | Renal cortex | Renal medulla (Renal sinusRenal pyramids) | Renal calyx | Renal pelvis
Nephron - Renal corpuscle (GlomerulusBowman's capsule) → Proximal tubule → Loop of Henle → Distal convoluted tubule → Collecting ducts

Juxtaglomerular apparatus (Macula densaJuxtaglomerular cells)

Renal circulation - Renal artery → Interlobar arteries → Arcuate arteries → Cortical radial arteries → Afferent arterioles → Glomerulus → Efferent arterioles → Vasa recta → Arcuate vein → Renal vein

Renal physiology
Filtration - Ultrafiltration | Countercurrent exchange

Hormones effecting filtration - Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) | Aldosterone | Atrial natriuretic peptide

Endocrine - Renin | Erythropoietin (EPO) | Calcitriol (Active vitamin D) | Prostaglandins

Assessing Renal function / Measures of Dialysis
Glomerular filtration rate | Creatinine clearance | Renal clearance ratio | Urea reduction ratio | Kt/V | Standardized Kt/V | Hemodialysis product
de:Atriales natriuretisches Peptid
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