[Extrarenal effects of the atrial natriuretic factor]

Nephrologie. 1987;8(1):13-7.
[Article in French]


The synthesis of peptides which have the natriuretic and vasodilator properties of the atrial natriuretic factor has made it possible to study the physiological role of this recently discovered hormonal system. In addition to renal effects, atrial natriuretic peptides exert vascular, hemodynamic and endocrine actions which may participate in the regulation of plasma and interstitial volume as well as arterial blood pressure. Its acute hypotensive effect, which was observed in normal volunteers and in patients with cardiac failure or hypertension, is not entirely explained by its direct vasodilator effect. The complexity of its role is demonstrated by its inhibiting action on the synthesis and/or the activity of other vasoactive hormones. The observed increase in hematocrit suggests that vascular permeability may be enhanced; the resulting consequences, e.g. on blood viscosity, still need to be elucidated. When infusing atrial natriuretic peptides, there exists a clear delay between the moment steady-state plasma levels are achieved and peak effect occurs. This renders the interpretation of the results very difficult. At this moment, the physiological role of atrial natriuretic peptides as well as their potential future use as therapeutic agents cannot yet be fully appreciated.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / pharmacology*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Hematocrit
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Liver Circulation / drug effects
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects
  • Renal Circulation / drug effects
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / drug effects
  • Skin / blood supply
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*


  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor