NPR-C: a component of the natriuretic peptide family with implications in human diseases

J Mol Med (Berl). 2010 Sep;88(9):889-97. doi: 10.1007/s00109-010-0641-2. Epub 2010 Jun 19.


The natriuretic peptide (NP) family includes atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), B-type natriuretic peptide, C-type natriuretic peptide and their receptors NPR-A, NPR-B and NPR-C. The effects exerted by this hormonal system in the control of cardiovascular, renal and endocrine functions have been extensively investigated. Moreover, the involvement of NP in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases has been demonstrated. Among the NP components, NPR-C has been described, at the time of its discovery, as the clearance receptor of NP devoid of any physiological functions. Emerging roles of NPR-C, however, have been highlighted over the last few years in relation to its effects on the cardiovascular system and other organs. These effects appear to be directly mediated through distinct cAMP-dependent intracellular mechanisms. Moreover, evidence has been accumulated on a potential pathophysiological role of NPR-C in human diseases. Ongoing studies from our group are revealing its involvement in the mediation of antiproliferative effects exerted on vascular cells by a molecular variant of human ANP. Thus, a new appraisal of NPR-C is overcoming the traditional view of a mere clearance receptor. This review focuses on the most important evidence supporting an involvement of NPR-C in mediating some of the actions of NP and its direct implication in cardiovascular diseases. The current state of knowledge highlights the need of further studies to better clarify the specific roles of NPR-C in pathophysiological processes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Natriuretic Peptide, C-Type / metabolism
  • Natriuretic Peptide, C-Type / physiology*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Phenotype


  • Natriuretic Peptide, C-Type
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor