Gene expression, secretion, and autocrine action of C-type natriuretic peptide in cultured adult rat cardiac fibroblasts

Endocrinology. 2003 Jun;144(6):2279-84. doi: 10.1210/en.2003-0128.


C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), the third member of the natriuretic peptide family, is known to be synthesized in the central nervous system and vascular endothelial cells, in contrast to atrial natriuretic peptide and brain natriuretic peptide. However, there have been no studies concerning CNP production in cultured cardiac cells. Here, we examined the production and the local effect of CNP in cultured ventricular cells. Under serum-free conditions, adult rat cardiac fibroblasts secreted immunoreactive CNP time dependently. TGF-beta1, basic fibroblast growth factor, and endothelin-1 significantly stimulated CNP secretion. Northern blot analysis detected significant expressions of CNP and its specific receptor (guanylyl cyclase-B) mRNA in cardiac fibroblasts. CNP stimulated intracellular cGMP production in fibroblasts more intensely than atrial and brain natriuretic peptides. CNP inhibited both DNA and collagen syntheses of cardiac fibroblasts, and these inhibitory effects by CNP were stronger than by atrial and brain natriuretic peptides. The inhibition by CNP of DNA and collagen syntheses was reproduced by a cGMP analog, 8-bromo cGMP. The present findings demonstrate that CNP is synthesized in and secreted from cardiac fibroblasts and suggest that CNP has a suppressive effect on fibroblast proliferation and extracellular matrix production, probably via the guanylyl cyclase-B-mediated cGMP-dependent process. CNP produced by cardiac fibroblasts may play a role as an autocrine regulator against excessive cardiac fibrosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / genetics
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / metabolism
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / pharmacology
  • Autocrine Communication / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Cyclic GMP / biosynthesis
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / physiology*
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Heart Ventricles / cytology
  • Male
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / genetics
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / metabolism
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / pharmacology
  • Natriuretic Peptide, C-Type / genetics*
  • Natriuretic Peptide, C-Type / metabolism*
  • Natriuretic Peptide, C-Type / pharmacology
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • Natriuretic Peptide, C-Type
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor
  • Collagen
  • DNA
  • Cyclic GMP