Adrenomedullin (ADM) is a new 52 amino acid peptide originally isolated from extracts of human pheochromocytoma. ADM's biologic properties are nearly identical to those of atrial natriuretic peptides. Thus, the 4 peptide hormones originating from amino acids 1-30 [long acting natriuretic peptide], 31-67 [vessel dilator], 79-98 [kaliuretic peptide] and 99-126 [atrial natriuretic factor; ANF] of the 126 amino acid ANF prohormone as well as ADM have blood pressure lowering and diuretic properties. The present investigation was designed to determine if one or more of these 4 atrial natriuretic peptides increase adrenomedullin within the circulation of healthy humans. Infusion of 100 ng/kg body weight/minute for 60 minutes of the respective atrial peptides resulted in a 4-fold (P < 0.001) increase in the circulating concentration of adrenomedullin secondary to the ANF infusion but no increase in adrenomedullin with the long acting natriuretic peptide, vessel dilator, or kaliuretic peptide infusions. The four-fold increase of adrenomedullin in the circulation persisted throughout the infusion of ANF, but returned to pre-infusion levels within 30 minutes of stopping the ANF infusion. Infusion of 10 pg/kg body weight/minute for 60 minutes of ANF resulted in a 2 1/2-fold increase (P < 0.05) in the circulating concentration of adrenomedullin. There was a significant (P < 0.01) diuresis and blood pressure lowering effect with each of the atrial natriuretic peptides in the present investigation. This investigation suggests that 1) atrial natriuretic factor increases the release of adrenomedullin and 2) that the diuretic and blood pressure lowering effects previously attributed to atrial natriuretic factor may be partially due to adrenomedullin since both increased during the ANF infusion and both have similar biologic effects. As opposed to atrial natriuretic factor, adrenomedullin was not increased by long acting natriuretic peptide, vessel dilator, or kaliuretic peptide suggesting that their biologic effects do not involve adrenomedullin.