Although atrial and brain natriuretic peptides are well known to be involved in the regulation of cardiovascular and endocrine functions as circulating hormones, the roles of the C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) remain unknown. We examined the effects of CNP on the secretion of aldosterone and cyclic nucleotides from bovine adrenal zona glomerulosa cells in culture. CNP produced a dose-dependent increase in the basal secretion of cGMP, with an EC50 of 3.8 x 10-10 M. CNP significantly inhibited the ACTH-induced increase in aldosterone and cAMP in a dose-related manner, with an IC50 of 3.6 x 10-10 M. Although ACTH itself did not increase cGMP secretion, the addition of CNP elicited a significant increase in cGMP secretion. The effects of CNP on the basal secretion of cGMP and the ACTH- induced secretion of aldosterone were significantly reversed by a nonpeptide natriuretic peptide receptor antagonist, HS-142-1. CNP immunoreactivity was localized in the zona glomerulosa by immunohistochemical staining. In addition, expression of CNP messenger RNA and natriuretic peptide B receptor messenger RNA was demonstrated by RT-PCR in the zona glomerulosa tissue and cells in culture. These findings suggest that CNP is a local factor regulating ACTH-induced aldosterone secretion through a guanylyl cyclase- cGMP pathway.
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