Presence of Dendroaspis natriuretic peptide-like immunoreactivity in human plasma and its increase during human heart failure

Mayo Clin Proc. 1999 Feb;74(2):126-30. doi: 10.4065/74.2.126.


Objective: To determine whether Dendroaspis natriuretic peptide (DNP), a novel peptide isolated from the venom of the Dendroaspis angusticeps snake that contains a 17-amino acid disulfide ring structure similar to that in atrial, brain, and C-type natriuretic peptides, is present in normal human plasma and myocardium and whether, like the other natriuretic peptides, DNP-like immunoreactivity (DNP-LI) is activated in human congestive heart failure (CHF).

Material and methods: Circulating DNP-LI was assessed in 19 normal human subjects and 19 patients with CHF (New York Heart Association class III or IV) with a specific and sensitive radioimmunoassay for DNP with no cross-reactivity with the other natriuretic peptides. Immunohistochemical studies that used polyclonal rabbit anti-DNP antiserum were performed on human atrial myocardial tissue obtained from four patients with end-stage CHF who were undergoing cardiac transplantation and from three donor hearts at the time of transplantation.

Results: We report that DNP-LI circulates in normal human plasma and is present in the normal atrial myocardium. In addition, DNP-LI is increased in the plasma of patients with CHF.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates, for the first time, the presence of a DNP-like peptide in normal human plasma and in the atrial myocardium. Additionally, these studies demonstrate increased plasma DNP-LI in human CHF. These results support the possible existence of an additional new natriuretic peptide in humans, which may have a role in the neurohumoral activation that characterizes human CHF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Elapid Venoms / analysis
  • Elapid Venoms / blood*
  • Elapid Venoms / chemistry
  • Elapid Venoms / immunology*
  • Heart Atria / chemistry
  • Heart Failure / blood*
  • Heart Failure / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune Sera
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Peptides / blood*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / immunology*
  • Rabbits
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Dendroaspis natriuretic peptide
  • Elapid Venoms
  • Immune Sera
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Peptides