Cardiac chamber-specific alterations of ANP and BNP expression with advancing age and with systemic hypertension

Mol Cell Biochem. 2001 Jan;216(1-2):137-40. doi: 10.1023/a:1011027231702.


The present study determined cardiac chamber-specific alterations of the expression of the atrial and brain natriuretic peptide (ANP and BNP) genes with a small increase in age beyond adulthood and with systemic hypertension of intermediate duration. The expression distributions of these genes was determined using in situ hybridization in the right and left atria (RA and LA), and the right and left ventricles (RV and LV) in Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) and age-matched Spontaneously Hypertensive rats (SHR) at ages 6 months (adult) and 8 months (advanced-age beyond adulthood). In all rat groups, both genes were expressed (ANP > BNP) in the LA and LV, and were not expressed in the RA and RV. The genes were expressed in the LA in all rat groups; the ANP, but not the BNP, expression increased with advancing age and with superimposed hypertension. They were expressed in the LV of the advanced-age WKY, adult and advanced-age SHR, but not in the adult WKY. The ANP mRNA labeling in the LA was diffuse and interspersed with dense accumulations, whereas BNP labeling was diffuse. The labeling of both genes in the form of sparse clusters was seen in the LV of the advanced-age SHR. Our study showed that ANP and BNP expression in left heart chambers increased with a small increase in age, with hypertension of intermediate duration, and with modest left ventricular hypertrophy. The chamber-specific expression distribution could be due to special groups of cardiac cells, or to local chamber-specific factors.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / biosynthesis*
  • Heart Atria / metabolism
  • Heart Ventricles / metabolism
  • Hypertension / metabolism*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Inbred WKY


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor