An unsuspected metabolic role for atrial natriuretic peptides: the control of lipolysis, lipid mobilization, and systemic nonesterified fatty acids levels in humans

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005 Oct;25(10):2032-42. doi: 10.1161/01.ATV.0000183728.14712.d8. Epub 2005 Aug 25.


In normal and obese humans, lipid mobilization and systemic nonesterified fatty acid levels are thought to be acutely controlled by catecholamines (ie, epinephrine and norepinephrine) and insulin. Natriuretic peptides (NPs) are known to play a key role in the regulation of salt and water balance and blood pressure homeostasis. They are involved in the pathophysiology of hypertension and heart failure. NPs have recently been found to exert potent lipolytic effects (ie, activating the breakdown of stored triacylglycerols) in isolated human fat cells and to promote lipid mobilization in vivo. Atrial natriuretic peptide increases the intracellular 3', 5'-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) concentration which activates cGMP-dependent protein kinase leading to perilipin and hormone-sensitive lipase phosphorylation and lipolysis. NPs promote lipid mobilization when administered intravenously. NPs are also responsible for the residual lipid-mobilizing action observed under oral beta-blockade in subjects performing physical exercise. NPs are therefore novel factors which may open promising research pathways to explain the control of lipid mobilization in physiological and pathological conditions. The metabolic impact of altered production and circulation of NPs remains to be established. The potential influence of NPs on the development of lipid disorders, obesity-related cardiovascular events, and cardiac cachexia will be discussed in this review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology*
  • Lipolysis / physiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Obesity / metabolism


  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor