C-type natriuretic peptide in human coronary atherosclerotic lesions

Takahiko Naruko, Makiko Ueda, Allard C. Van der Wal, Chris M. Van der Loos, Hiroshi Itoh, Kazuwa Nakao, Anton E. Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Background: C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) belongs to the natriuretic peptide family and is considered to have regulatory effects on vascular tone and smooth muscle growth. Since these features play a role in atherogenesis, the presence of CNP at such sites was studied. Methods and Results: Thirty- three coronary artery segments were harvested at autopsy: 10 normal, with diffuse intimal thickening, and 23 atherosclerotic lesions. Samples were snap-frozen and processed for immunohistochemical staining. For the identification of CNP, a mouse monoclonal antibody (KY-CNP-1) was used. 1A4, EBM-11 (CD68), and von Willebrand factor antibodies were used to stain smooth muscle cells, macrophages, and endothelial cells, respectively. CNP is present in several cell types. Normal arterial segments show CNP-positive endothelial cells. Hypercellular atherosclerotic lesions show distinct CNP positivity of smooth muscle cells and macrophages but a decrease in positivity of endothelial cells. Advanced atherosclerotic lesions contain CNP-positive macrophages, but the smooth muscle cells within the fibrous cap and the surface endothelial cells are almost all CNP negative. Conclusions: These observations suggest that CNP has functional significance in atherogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3103-3108
Number of pages6
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • atherosclerosis
  • muscle, smooth
  • natriuretic peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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