- Last Update On : 2013-01-27
B-type natriuretic peptide, which is also called brain-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), was first isolated from brain, but later discovered to be a cardiac hormone. Ventricular cardiac myocytes constitute the major source of BNP related peptides. Only small amounts of BNP are stored within the cytoplasmic granules of myocytes. Following myocardial wall stress, there is rapid gene expression and de novo synthesis of a natriuretic prohormone. Upon release into the circulation this prohormone is cleaved into the biologically active BNP, which represents the C-terminal fragment, and the biologically inactive N-terminal fragment (NT-proBNP).
Natriuretic peptides have numerous physiological effects including natriuresis/diuresis, peripheral vasodilatation, and inhibition of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Secretion of natriuretic peptides may limit the degree of vasoconstriction, sodium retention and pathologic remodelin