The present study was aimed to investigate the regulatory mechanisms of BNP release. Effects of acute and chronic perturbations in body fluid balance, changes in BP, and regulatory roles of NO and endothelin systems on BNP release were examined in rats. Although acute extracellular volume expansion did not have significant effects on plasma BNP, prolonged high-salt intake increased plasma BNP levels. Plasma BNP levels were also higher in 2K1C rats compared with the control. Although infusion of L-NAME increased the plasma BNP in control, it did not further affect the plasma BNP in rats with high-salt intake. Although L-arginine (20 mg.kg-1 per min) per se did not have significant effects on plasma BNP, it blocked the stimulatory effect of L-NAME (200 micrograms.kg-1 per min). Plasma BNP was severalfold increased following a single injection of endothelin (0.3 micrograms/kg) in normal and high-salt intake groups, the magnitude of which was not significantly affected by the high-salt intake. Although indomethacin did not have significant effects on plasma BNP in normal rats, it blocked the stimulatory effect of 2K1C hypertension. It is concluded that BNP is regulated by chronic changes in body fluid balance and blood pressure. It is also suggested that endothelin and NO systems may directly regulate the secretion of BNP in vivo. An endogenous prostaglandin synthesis may be involved in the stimulated release of BNP in hypertension.
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