Chronic heart failure is accompanied by anorexia and increased release of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) from ventricular cardiomyocytes. The pathophysiological mechanisms linking heart failure and appetite regulation remain unknown. In this study, we investigated the impact of intravenous BNP administration on appetite-regulating hormones and subjective ratings of hunger and satiety in 10 healthy volunteers. Participants received in a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover, single-blinded study (subject) placebo once and 3.0 pmol/kg/min human BNP-32 once administered as a continuous infusion during 4 h. Circulating concentrations of appetite-regulating peptides were measured hourly. Subjective ratings of hunger and satiety were evaluated by visual analog scales. BNP inhibited the fasting-induced increase in total and acylated ghrelin concentrations over time (P = 0.043 and P = 0.038, respectively). In addition, BNP decreased the subjective rating of hunger (P = 0.009) and increased the feeling of satiety (P = 0.012) when compared with placebo. There were no significant changes in circulating peptide YY, glucagon-like peptide 1, oxyntomodulin, pancreatic polypeptide, leptin, and adiponectin concentrations. In summary, our results demonstrate that BNP exerts anorectic effects and reduces ghrelin concentrations in men. These data, taken together with the known cardiovascular properties of ghrelin, support the existence of a heart-gut-brain axis, which could be therapeutically targeted in patients with heart failure and obesity.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01375153.