Expression of C-type natriuretic peptide during development of rat lung

Kuniaki Nakanishi, Fumiko Tajima, Hiroshi Itoh, Yasuko Nakata, Norio Hama, Osamu Nakagawa, Kazuwa Nakao, Toshiaki Kawai, Chikao Torikata, Tatsuko Suga, Kunio Takishima, Takashi Aurues, Tomosumi Ikeda

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19 Citations (Scopus)


C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), recently found to be secreted from vascular endothelial cells, is now viewed as a novel endothelium-derived relaxing peptide. However, the distribution and expression of CNP during cardiopulmonary development is unclear. To follow changes in the expression of CNP during lung development, we examined rat embryos and neonates using Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization for CNP mRNA and radioimmunoassay and immunohistochemistry for CNP protein. A substantial expression of CNP mRNA was first detected on postnatal day 2, and it thereafter remained fairly steady. The level of CNP protein also increased rapidly after postnatal day 1, reaching a settled level on postnatal day 4. CNP protein and mRNA were detected in the endothelium and smooth muscle cells of blood vessels and in bronchial airway and alveolar epithelia. Immunoreactivity for CNP protein in the endothelium of blood vessels increased to an intense level after the saccular stage. These results suggest that the changes in CNP levels may be related to the occurrence of pulmonary vasodilation after birth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L996-L1002
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number5 21-5
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiopulmonary system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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