2010 Volume 57 Issue 7 Pages 555-565
Atrial and brain natriuretic peptides (ANP and BNP, respectively) are cardiac hormones. During cardiac development, their expression is a maker of cardiomyocyte differentiation and is under tight spatiotemporal regulation. After birth, however, their ventricular expression is only up-regulated in response to various cardiovascular diseases. As a result, analysis of ANP and BNP gene expression has led to discoveries of transcriptional regulators and signaling pathways involved in both cardiac differentiation and cardiac disease. Studies using genetically engineered mice have shed light on the molecular mechanisms regulating ANP and BNP gene expression, as well as the physiological and pathophysiological relevance of the cardiac natriuretic peptide system. In this review we will summarize what is currently known about their regulation and the significance of ANP and BNP as hormones derived from the heart.