(1/2854) A low-affinity serum response element allows other transcription factors to activate inducible gene expression in cardiac myocytes.

Hypertrophic growth of cardiac muscle cells is induced by a variety of physiological and pathological stimuli and is associated with a number of changes, including activation of genes such as atrial natriuretic factor. We found that two serum response element (SRE)-like DNA elements, one of which does not meet the consensus sequence and binds serum response factor (SRF) with low affinity, regulate the activity of this promoter. Surprisingly, the ability to induce the promoter by two different physiologic stimuli, as well as various activated transcription factors, including SRF-VP16, was primarily dependent upon the nonconsensus rather than the consensus SRE. This SRE controls the induction of gene expression via an unusual mechanism in that it is required to allow some, but not all, active transcription factors at unrelated sites on the promoter to stimulate gene expression. Thus, in addition to regulation of SRF activity by growth stimuli, regulation of a low-affinity SRE element controls inducible gene expression by modulating the ability of other transcription factors to stimulate the transcription machinery.  (+info)

(2/2854) Low calorie diet enhances renal, hemodynamic, and humoral effects of exogenous atrial natriuretic peptide in obese hypertensives.

The expression of the natriuretic peptide clearance receptor is abundant in human and rat adipose tissue, where it is specifically inhibited by fasting. In obese hypertensives, plasma atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) levels were found to be lower than in obese normotensives. Therefore, the increased adipose mass might influence ANP levels and/or its biological activity. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether the humoral, hemodynamic, and renal effects of exogenous ANP in obese hypertensives might be enhanced by a very low calorie diet. Eight obese hypertensives received a bolus injection of ANP (0.6 mg/kg) after 2 weeks of a normal calorie/normal sodium diet, and blood pressure (BP), heart rate, ANP, cGMP, plasma renin activity, and aldosterone were evaluated for 2 hours before and after the injection. Diuresis and natriuresis were measured every 30 minutes. The patients then started a low calorie/normal sodium diet (510 kcal/150 mmol/d) for 4 days, and then the ANP injection protocol was repeated. The low calorie diet induced a slight weight loss (from 90.6+/-1.1 to 87. 7+/-1.2 kg; P<0.01), which was accompanied by increase of cGMP excretion (from 146.0+/-10.1 to 154.5+/-9.5 nmol/24 h; P<0.05) together with a reduction of BP (P<0.01 versus basal levels). ANP injection after diet was followed by an increase of ANP levels similar to that observed before diet, but plasma cGMP, diuresis, and natriuresis increased significantly only after diet. Similarly, the decrease of BP after ANP administration was significantly higher after diet (change in mean arterial pressure, -6.4+/-0.7 versus -4. 0+/-0.6 mm Hg; P<0.05) as well as that of aldosterone (P<0.01). These data show that a low calorie diet enhances the humoral, renal, and hemodynamic effects of ANP in obese hypertensives and confirm the importance of caloric intake in modulating the biological activity of ANP, suggesting that the natriuretic peptide system can play a role in the acute changes of natriuresis and diuresis associated with caloric restriction.  (+info)

(3/2854) Peri-operative changes in echocardiographic measurements and plasma atrial and brain natriuretic peptide concentrations in 3 dogs with patent ductus arteriosus.

Peri-operative changes in echocardiographic measurements and plasma levels of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) were investigated for 1 month in 3 dogs with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Post-operative left ventricular end-diastolic dimention and fractional shortening decreased in all cases. Pre-operatively increased plasma ANP concentrations reduced dramatically after the operation. Peri-operative changes in plasma BNP levels had slightly S-shaped curves in all cases. These observations suggest that post-operative responsiveness of ANP and cardiac function are rapid in comparison with cardiac morphological changes, and BNP has a different pathophysiological significance from ANP in dogs with PDA.  (+info)

(4/2854) Sperm chemotaxis.

Communication between spermatozoa and egg before contact by chemotaxis appears to be prevalent throughout the animal kingdom. In non-mammalian species, sperm chemotaxis to factors secreted from the egg is well documented. In mammals, sperm chemotaxis to follicular factors in vitro has been established in humans and mice. The attractants of female origin in non-mammalian species are heat-stable peptides or proteins of various sizes, or other small molecules, depending on the species. Species specificity of the attractants in non-mammalian species may vary from high species specificity, through specificity to families with no specificity within a family, to absence of specificity. The mammalian sperm attractants have not been identified but they appear to be heat-stable peptides. The claim that progesterone is the attractant for human spermatozoa has failed to be substantiated, neither have claims for other mammalian sperm attractants been verified. The molecular mechanism of sperm chemotaxis is not known. Models involving modulation of the intracellular Ca2+ concentration have been proposed for both mammalian and non-mammalian sperm chemotaxis. The physiological role of sperm chemotaxis in non-mammalian species appears to differ from that in mammals. In non-mammalian species, sperm chemotaxis strives to bring as many spermatozoa as possible to the egg. However, in mammals, the role appears to be recruitment of a selective population of capacitated ('ripe') spermatozoa to fertilize the egg.  (+info)

(5/2854) Physiological variability of fluid-regulation hormones in young women.

We tested the physiological reliability of plasma renin activity (PRA) and plasma concentrations of arginine vasopressin (P[AVP]), aldosterone (P[ALD]), and atrial natriuretic peptide (P[ANP]) in the early follicular phase and midluteal phases over the course of two menstrual cycles (n = 9 women, ages 25 +/- 1 yr). The reliability (Cronbach's alpha >/=0.80) of these hormones within a given phase of the cycle was tested 1) at rest, 2) after 2.5 h of dehydrating exercise, and 3) during a rehydration period. The mean hormone concentrations were similar within both the early follicular and midluteal phase tests; and the mean concentrations of P[ALD] and PRA for the three test conditions were significantly greater during the midluteal compared with the early follicular phase. Although Cronbach's alpha for resting and recovery P[ANP] were high (0.80 and 0.87, respectively), the resting and rehydration values for P[AVP], P[ALD], and PRA were variable between trials for the follicular (alpha from 0.49 to 0.55) and the luteal phase (alpha from 0.25 to 0. 66). Physiological reliability was better after dehydration for P[AVP] and PRA but remained low for P[ALD]. Although resting and recovery P[AVP], P[ALD], and PRA were not consistent within a given menstrual phase, the differences in the concentrations of these hormones between the different menstrual phases far exceeded the variability within the phases, indicating that the low within-phase reliability does not prevent the detection of menstrual phase-related differences in these hormonal variables.  (+info)

(6/2854) Cardiovascular, endocrine, and renal effects of urodilatin in normal humans.

Effects of urodilatin (5, 10, 20, and 40 ng. kg-1. min-1) infused over 2 h on separate study days were studied in eight normal subjects with use of a randomized, double-blind protocol. All doses decreased renal plasma flow (hippurate clearance, 13-37%) and increased fractional Li+ clearance (7-22%) and urinary Na+ excretion (by 30, 76, 136, and 99% at 5, 10, 20, and 40 ng. kg-1. min-1, respectively). Glomerular filtration rate did not increase significantly with any dose. The two lowest doses decreased cardiac output (7 and 16%) and stroke volume (10 and 20%) without changing mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate. The two highest doses elicited larger decreases in stroke volume (17 and 21%) but also decreased blood pressure (6 and 14%) and increased heart rate (15 and 38%), such that cardiac output remained unchanged. Hematocrit and plasma protein concentration increased with the three highest doses. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system was inhibited by the three lowest doses but activated by the hypotensive dose of 40 ng. kg-1. min-1. Plasma vasopressin increased by factors of up to 5 during infusion of the three highest doses. Atrial natriuretic peptide immunoreactivity (including urodilatin) and plasma cGMP increased dose dependently. The urinary excretion rate of albumin was elevated up to 15-fold (37 +/- 17 micrograms/min). Use of a newly developed assay revealed that baseline urinary urodilatin excretion rate was low (<10 pg/min) and that fractional excretion of urodilatin remained below 0.1%. The results indicate that even moderately natriuretic doses of urodilatin exert protracted effects on systemic hemodynamic, endocrine, and renal functions, including decreases in cardiac output and renal blood flow, without changes in arterial pressure or glomerular filtration rate, and that filtered urodilatin is almost completely removed by the renal tubules.  (+info)

(7/2854) Second messenger production in avian medullary nephron segments in response to peptide hormones.

We examined the sites of peptide hormone activation within medullary nephron segments of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) kidney by measuring rates of hormone-induced generation of cyclic nucleotide second messenger. Thin descending limbs, thick ascending limbs, and collecting ducts had baseline activity of adenylyl cyclase that resulted in cAMP accumulation of 207 +/- 56, 147 +/- 31, and 151 +/- 41 fmol. mm-1. 30 min-1, respectively. In all segments, this activity increased 10- to 20-fold in response to forskolin. Activity of adenylyl cyclase in the thin descending limb was stimulated approximately twofold by parathyroid hormone (PTH) but not by any of the other hormones tested [arginine vasotocin (AVT), glucagon, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), or isoproterenol, each at 10(-6) M]. Thick ascending limb was stimulated two- to threefold by both AVT and PTH; however, glucagon and isoproterenol had no effect, and ANP stimulated neither cAMP nor cGMP accumulation. Adenylyl cyclase activity in the collecting duct was stimulated fourfold by AVT but not by the other hormones; likewise, ANP did not stimulate cGMP accumulation in this segment. These data support a tubular action of AVT and PTH in the avian renal medulla.  (+info)

(8/2854) cGMP-dependent and -independent inhibition of a K+ conductance by natriuretic peptides: molecular and functional studies in human proximal tubule cells.

In immortalized human kidney epithelial (IHKE-1) cells derived from proximal tubules, two natriuretic peptide receptors (NPR) were identified. In addition to NPR-A, which is bound by atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), and urodilatin (URO), a novel form of NPR-B that might be bound by C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) was identified using PCR. This novel splice variant of NPR-B (NPR-Bi) was also found in human kidney. Whereas ANP, BNP, and URO increased intracellular cGMP levels in IHKE-1 cells in a concentration-dependent manner, CNP had no effect on cGMP levels. To determine the physiologic responses to these agonists in IHKE-1 cells, the membrane voltage (Vm) was monitored using the slow whole-cell patch-clamp technique. ANP (10 nM), BNP (10 nM), and URO (16 nM) depolarized these cells by 3 to 4 mV (n = 47, 7, and 16, respectively), an effect that could be mimicked by 0.1 mM 8-Br-cGMP (n = 15). The effects of ANP and 8-Br-cGMP were not additive (n = 4). CNP (10 nM) also depolarized these cells, by 3+/-1 mV (n = 28), despite the absence of an increase in cellular cGMP levels, indicating a cGMP-independent mechanism. In the presence of CNP, 8-Br-cGMP further depolarized Vm significantly, by 1.6+/-0.3 mV (n = 5). The depolarizations by ANP were completely abolished in the presence of Ba2+ (1 mM, n = 4) and thus can be related to inhibition of a K+ conductance in the luminal membrane of IHKE-1 cells. The depolarizations attributable to CNP were completely blocked when genistein (10 microM, n = 6), an inhibitor of tyrosine kinases, was present. These findings indicate that natriuretic peptides regulate electrogenic transport processes via cGMP-dependent and -independent pathways that influence the Vm of IHKE-1 cells.  (+info)