Natriuretic Peptide, Brain: A PEPTIDE that is secreted by the BRAIN and the HEART ATRIA, stored mainly in cardiac ventricular MYOCARDIUM. It can cause NATRIURESIS; DIURESIS; VASODILATION; and inhibits secretion of RENIN and ALDOSTERONE. It improves heart function. It contains 32 AMINO ACIDS.Atrial Natriuretic Factor: A potent natriuretic and vasodilatory peptide or mixture of different-sized low molecular weight PEPTIDES derived from a common precursor and secreted mainly by the HEART ATRIUM. All these peptides share a sequence of about 20 AMINO ACIDS.Natriuretic Peptide, C-Type: A PEPTIDE of 22 amino acids, derived mainly from cells of VASCULAR ENDOTHELIUM. It is also found in the BRAIN, major endocrine glands, and other tissues. It shares structural homology with ATRIAL NATRIURETIC FACTOR. It has vasorelaxant activity thus is important in the regulation of vascular tone and blood flow. Several high molecular weight forms containing the 22 amino acids have been identified.Natriuretic Peptides: Peptides that regulate the WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE in the body, also known as natriuretic peptide hormones. Several have been sequenced (ATRIAL NATRIURETIC FACTOR; BRAIN NATRIURETIC PEPTIDE; C-TYPE NATRIURETIC PEPTIDE).Receptors, Atrial Natriuretic Factor: Cell surface proteins that bind ATRIAL NATRIURETIC FACTOR with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. They contain intrinsic guanylyl cyclase activity.Peptides: Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.Natriuretic Agents: Endogenous or exogenous chemicals that regulate the WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE in the body. They consist of peptides and non-peptide compounds.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Guanylate Cyclase: An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of GTP to 3',5'-cyclic GMP and pyrophosphate. It also acts on ITP and dGTP. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 188.8.131.52.Cyclic GMP: Guanosine cyclic 3',5'-(hydrogen phosphate). A guanine nucleotide containing one phosphate group which is esterified to the sugar moiety in both the 3'- and 5'-positions. It is a cellular regulatory agent and has been described as a second messenger. Its levels increase in response to a variety of hormones, including acetylcholine, insulin, and oxytocin and it has been found to activate specific protein kinases. (From Merck Index, 11th ed)Heart Failure: A heterogeneous condition in which the heart is unable to pump out sufficient blood to meet the metabolic need of the body. Heart failure can be caused by structural defects, functional abnormalities (VENTRICULAR DYSFUNCTION), or a sudden overload beyond its capacity. Chronic heart failure is more common than acute heart failure which results from sudden insult to cardiac function, such as MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION.Biological Markers: Measurable and quantifiable biological parameters (e.g., specific enzyme concentration, specific hormone concentration, specific gene phenotype distribution in a population, presence of biological substances) which serve as indices for health- and physiology-related assessments, such as disease risk, psychiatric disorders, environmental exposure and its effects, disease diagnosis, metabolic processes, substance abuse, pregnancy, cell line development, epidemiologic studies, etc.Natriuresis: Sodium excretion by URINATION.Brain Chemistry: Changes in the amounts of various chemicals (neurotransmitters, receptors, enzymes, and other metabolites) specific to the area of the central nervous system contained within the head. These are monitored over time, during sensory stimulation, or under different disease states.Protein PrecursorsBrain Injuries: Acute and chronic (see also BRAIN INJURIES, CHRONIC) injuries to the brain, including the cerebral hemispheres, CEREBELLUM, and BRAIN STEM. Clinical manifestations depend on the nature of injury. Diffuse trauma to the brain is frequently associated with DIFFUSE AXONAL INJURY or COMA, POST-TRAUMATIC. Localized injuries may be associated with NEUROBEHAVIORAL MANIFESTATIONS; HEMIPARESIS, or other focal neurologic deficits.Neprilysin: Enzyme that is a major constituent of kidney brush-border membranes and is also present to a lesser degree in the brain and other tissues. It preferentially catalyzes cleavage at the amino group of hydrophobic residues of the B-chain of insulin as well as opioid peptides and other biologically active peptides. The enzyme is inhibited primarily by EDTA, phosphoramidon, and thiorphan and is reactivated by zinc. Neprilysin is identical to common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen (CALLA Antigen), an important marker in the diagnosis of human acute lymphocytic leukemia. There is no relationship with CALLA PLANT.Nerve Tissue ProteinsPeptide Library: A collection of cloned peptides, or chemically synthesized peptides, frequently consisting of all possible combinations of amino acids making up an n-amino acid peptide.Brain Neoplasms: Neoplasms of the intracranial components of the central nervous system, including the cerebral hemispheres, basal ganglia, hypothalamus, thalamus, brain stem, and cerebellum. Brain neoplasms are subdivided into primary (originating from brain tissue) and secondary (i.e., metastatic) forms. Primary neoplasms are subdivided into benign and malignant forms. In general, brain tumors may also be classified by age of onset, histologic type, or presenting location in the brain.Myocardium: The muscle tissue of the HEART. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC) connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow.Peptides, Cyclic: Peptides whose amino and carboxy ends are linked together with a peptide bond forming a circular chain. Some of them are ANTI-INFECTIVE AGENTS. Some of them are biosynthesized non-ribosomally (PEPTIDE BIOSYNTHESIS, NON-RIBOSOMAL).Blood Pressure: PRESSURE of the BLOOD on the ARTERIES and other BLOOD VESSELS.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Ventricular Dysfunction, Left: A condition in which the LEFT VENTRICLE of the heart was functionally impaired. This condition usually leads to HEART FAILURE; MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION; and other cardiovascular complications. Diagnosis is made by measuring the diminished ejection fraction and a depressed level of motility of the left ventricular wall.Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides: Small cationic peptides that are an important component, in most species, of early innate and induced defenses against invading microbes. In animals they are found on mucosal surfaces, within phagocytic granules, and on the surface of the body. They are also found in insects and plants. Among others, this group includes the DEFENSINS, protegrins, tachyplesins, and thionins. They displace DIVALENT CATIONS from phosphate groups of MEMBRANE LIPIDS leading to disruption of the membrane.Predictive Value of Tests: In screening and diagnostic tests, the probability that a person with a positive test is a true positive (i.e., has the disease), is referred to as the predictive value of a positive test; whereas, the predictive value of a negative test is the probability that the person with a negative test does not have the disease. Predictive value is related to the sensitivity and specificity of the test.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Hemodynamics: The movement and the forces involved in the movement of the blood through the CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Cardiomegaly: Enlargement of the HEART, usually indicated by a cardiothoracic ratio above 0.50. Heart enlargement may involve the right, the left, or both HEART VENTRICLES or HEART ATRIA. Cardiomegaly is a nonspecific symptom seen in patients with chronic systolic heart failure (HEART FAILURE) or several forms of CARDIOMYOPATHIES.Brain Mapping: Imaging techniques used to colocalize sites of brain functions or physiological activity with brain structures.Kidney: Body organ that filters blood for the secretion of URINE and that regulates ion concentrations.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Adrenomedullin: A 52-amino acid peptide with multi-functions. It was originally isolated from PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA and ADRENAL MEDULLA but is widely distributed throughout the body including lung and kidney tissues. Besides controlling fluid-electrolyte homeostasis, adrenomedullin is a potent vasodilator and can inhibit pituitary ACTH secretion.Radioimmunoassay: Classic quantitative assay for detection of antigen-antibody reactions using a radioactively labeled substance (radioligand) either directly or indirectly to measure the binding of the unlabeled substance to a specific antibody or other receptor system. Non-immunogenic substances (e.g., haptens) can be measured if coupled to larger carrier proteins (e.g., bovine gamma-globulin or human serum albumin) capable of inducing antibody formation.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Heart Atria: The chambers of the heart, to which the BLOOD returns from the circulation.Prognosis: A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual's condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations.Aldosterone: A hormone secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX that regulates electrolyte and water balance by increasing the renal retention of sodium and the excretion of potassium.Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.Oligopeptides: Peptides composed of between two and twelve amino acids.Peptide Mapping: Analysis of PEPTIDES that are generated from the digestion or fragmentation of a protein or mixture of PROTEINS, by ELECTROPHORESIS; CHROMATOGRAPHY; or MASS SPECTROMETRY. The resulting peptide fingerprints are analyzed for a variety of purposes including the identification of the proteins in a sample, GENETIC POLYMORPHISMS, patterns of gene expression, and patterns diagnostic for diseases.ROC Curve: A graphic means for assessing the ability of a screening test to discriminate between healthy and diseased persons; may also be used in other studies, e.g., distinguishing stimuli responses as to a faint stimuli or nonstimuli.Prospective Studies: Observation of a population for a sufficient number of persons over a sufficient number of years to generate incidence or mortality rates subsequent to the selection of the study group.Echocardiography: Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues. The standard approach is transthoracic.Stroke Volume: The amount of BLOOD pumped out of the HEART per beat, not to be confused with cardiac output (volume/time). It is calculated as the difference between the end-diastolic volume and the end-systolic volume.Renin: A highly specific (Leu-Leu) endopeptidase that generates ANGIOTENSIN I from its precursor ANGIOTENSINOGEN, leading to a cascade of reactions which elevate BLOOD PRESSURE and increase sodium retention by the kidney in the RENIN-ANGIOTENSIN SYSTEM. The enzyme was formerly listed as EC 184.108.40.206.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Heart Ventricles: The lower right and left chambers of the heart. The right ventricle pumps venous BLOOD into the LUNGS and the left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood into the systemic arterial circulation.Cyclic GMP-Dependent Protein Kinases: A group of cyclic GMP-dependent enzymes that catalyze the phosphorylation of SERINE or THREONINE residues of proteins.Troponin T: One of the three polypeptide chains that make up the TROPONIN complex. It is a cardiac-specific protein that binds to TROPOMYOSIN. It is released from damaged or injured heart muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC). Defects in the gene encoding troponin T result in FAMILIAL HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Elapid Venoms: Venoms from snakes of the family Elapidae, including cobras, kraits, mambas, coral, tiger, and Australian snakes. The venoms contain polypeptide toxins of various kinds, cytolytic, hemolytic, and neurotoxic factors, but fewer enzymes than viper or crotalid venoms. Many of the toxins have been characterized.Brain Edema: Increased intracellular or extracellular fluid in brain tissue. Cytotoxic brain edema (swelling due to increased intracellular fluid) is indicative of a disturbance in cell metabolism, and is commonly associated with hypoxic or ischemic injuries (see HYPOXIA, BRAIN). An increase in extracellular fluid may be caused by increased brain capillary permeability (vasogenic edema), an osmotic gradient, local blockages in interstitial fluid pathways, or by obstruction of CSF flow (e.g., obstructive HYDROCEPHALUS). (From Childs Nerv Syst 1992 Sep; 8(6):301-6)Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid: Liquid chromatographic techniques which feature high inlet pressures, high sensitivity, and high speed.Ventricular Function, Left: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the left HEART VENTRICLE. Its measurement is an important aspect of the clinical evaluation of patients with heart disease to determine the effects of the disease on cardiac performance.Ventricular Remodeling: The geometric and structural changes that the HEART VENTRICLES undergo, usually following MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION. It comprises expansion of the infarct and dilatation of the healthy ventricle segments. While most prevalent in the left ventricle, it can also occur in the right ventricle.Dyspnea: Difficult or labored breathing.Endothelin-1: A 21-amino acid peptide produced in a variety of tissues including endothelial and vascular smooth-muscle cells, neurons and astrocytes in the central nervous system, and endometrial cells. It acts as a modulator of vasomotor tone, cell proliferation, and hormone production. (N Eng J Med 1995;333(6):356-63)Angiotensin II: An octapeptide that is a potent but labile vasoconstrictor. It is produced from angiotensin I after the removal of two amino acids at the C-terminal by ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME. The amino acid in position 5 varies in different species. To block VASOCONSTRICTION and HYPERTENSION effect of angiotensin II, patients are often treated with ACE INHIBITORS or with ANGIOTENSIN II TYPE 1 RECEPTOR BLOCKERS.Heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.Dogs: The domestic dog, Canis familiaris, comprising about 400 breeds, of the carnivore family CANIDAE. They are worldwide in distribution and live in association with people. (Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1065)Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Heart Diseases: Pathological conditions involving the HEART including its structural and functional abnormalities.Sensitivity and Specificity: Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Specificity is the probability of correctly determining the absence of a condition. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Brain Ischemia: Localized reduction of blood flow to brain tissue due to arterial obstruction or systemic hypoperfusion. This frequently occurs in conjunction with brain hypoxia (HYPOXIA, BRAIN). Prolonged ischemia is associated with BRAIN INFARCTION.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.Hypertension: Persistently high systemic arterial BLOOD PRESSURE. Based on multiple readings (BLOOD PRESSURE DETERMINATION), hypertension is currently defined as when SYSTOLIC PRESSURE is consistently greater than 140 mm Hg or when DIASTOLIC PRESSURE is consistently 90 mm Hg or more.Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide: Calcitonin gene-related peptide. A 37-amino acid peptide derived from the calcitonin gene. It occurs as a result of alternative processing of mRNA from the calcitonin gene. The neuropeptide is widely distributed in neural tissue of the brain, gut, perivascular nerves, and other tissue. The peptide produces multiple biological effects and has both circulatory and neurotransmitter modes of action. In particular, it is a potent endogenous vasodilator.Sodium: A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol Na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Diuretics: Agents that promote the excretion of urine through their effects on kidney function.Glomerular Filtration Rate: The volume of water filtered out of plasma through glomerular capillary walls into Bowman's capsules per unit of time. It is considered to be equivalent to INULIN clearance.Thiorphan: A potent inhibitor of membrane metalloendopeptidase (ENKEPHALINASE). Thiorphan potentiates morphine-induced ANALGESIA and attenuates naloxone-precipitated withdrawal symptoms.Diuresis: An increase in the excretion of URINE. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide: A highly basic, 28 amino acid neuropeptide released from intestinal mucosa. It has a wide range of biological actions affecting the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems and is neuroprotective. It binds special receptors (RECEPTORS, VASOACTIVE INTESTINAL PEPTIDE).Proteins: Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.Brain Stem: The part of the brain that connects the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES with the SPINAL CORD. It consists of the MESENCEPHALON; PONS; and MEDULLA OBLONGATA.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Pulmonary Wedge Pressure: The blood pressure as recorded after wedging a CATHETER in a small PULMONARY ARTERY; believed to reflect the PRESSURE in the pulmonary CAPILLARIES.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Cardiomyopathy, Dilated: A form of CARDIAC MUSCLE disease that is characterized by ventricular dilation, VENTRICULAR DYSFUNCTION, and HEART FAILURE. Risk factors include SMOKING; ALCOHOL DRINKING; HYPERTENSION; INFECTION; PREGNANCY; and mutations in the LMNA gene encoding LAMIN TYPE A, a NUCLEAR LAMINA protein.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Echocardiography, Doppler: Measurement of intracardiac blood flow using an M-mode and/or two-dimensional (2-D) echocardiogram while simultaneously recording the spectrum of the audible Doppler signal (e.g., velocity, direction, amplitude, intensity, timing) reflected from the moving column of red blood cells.Myocytes, Cardiac: Striated muscle cells found in the heart. They are derived from cardiac myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, CARDIAC).Receptors, Peptide: Cell surface receptors that bind peptide messengers with high affinity and regulate intracellular signals which influence the behavior of cells.Arginine Vasopressin: The predominant form of mammalian antidiuretic hormone. It is a nonapeptide containing an ARGININE at residue 8 and two disulfide-linked cysteines at residues of 1 and 6. Arg-vasopressin is used to treat DIABETES INSIPIDUS or to improve vasomotor tone and BLOOD PRESSURE.Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Non-invasive method of demonstrating internal anatomy based on the principle that atomic nuclei in a strong magnetic field absorb pulses of radiofrequency energy and emit them as radiowaves which can be reconstructed into computerized images. The concept includes proton spin tomographic techniques.Troponin I: One of the three polypeptide chains that make up the TROPONIN complex. It inhibits F-actin-myosin interactions.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Renin-Angiotensin System: A BLOOD PRESSURE regulating system of interacting components that include RENIN; ANGIOTENSINOGEN; ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME; ANGIOTENSIN I; ANGIOTENSIN II; and angiotensinase. Renin, an enzyme produced in the kidney, acts on angiotensinogen, an alpha-2 globulin produced by the liver, forming ANGIOTENSIN I. Angiotensin-converting enzyme, contained in the lung, acts on angiotensin I in the plasma converting it to ANGIOTENSIN II, an extremely powerful vasoconstrictor. Angiotensin II causes contraction of the arteriolar and renal VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE, leading to retention of salt and water in the KIDNEY and increased arterial blood pressure. In addition, angiotensin II stimulates the release of ALDOSTERONE from the ADRENAL CORTEX, which in turn also increases salt and water retention in the kidney. Angiotensin-converting enzyme also breaks down BRADYKININ, a powerful vasodilator and component of the KALLIKREIN-KININ SYSTEM.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Receptors, Cell Surface: Cell surface proteins that bind signalling molecules external to the cell with high affinity and convert this extracellular event into one or more intracellular signals that alter the behavior of the target cell (From Alberts, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2nd ed, pp693-5). Cell surface receptors, unlike enzymes, do not chemically alter their ligands.Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.Heart Failure, Systolic: Heart failure caused by abnormal myocardial contraction during SYSTOLE leading to defective cardiac emptying.Water-Electrolyte Balance: The balance of fluid in the BODY FLUID COMPARTMENTS; total BODY WATER; BLOOD VOLUME; EXTRACELLULAR SPACE; INTRACELLULAR SPACE, maintained by processes in the body that regulate the intake and excretion of WATER and ELECTROLYTES, particularly SODIUM and POTASSIUM.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Blood Volume: Volume of circulating BLOOD. It is the sum of the PLASMA VOLUME and ERYTHROCYTE VOLUME.Myocardial Infarction: NECROSIS of the MYOCARDIUM caused by an obstruction of the blood supply to the heart (CORONARY CIRCULATION).Analysis of Variance: A statistical technique that isolates and assesses the contributions of categorical independent variables to variation in the mean of a continuous dependent variable.Mice, Inbred C57BLSeverity of Illness Index: Levels within a diagnostic group which are established by various measurement criteria applied to the seriousness of a patient's disorder.Ventricular Dysfunction: A condition in which HEART VENTRICLES exhibit impaired function.Chronic Disease: Diseases which have one or more of the following characteristics: they are permanent, leave residual disability, are caused by nonreversible pathological alteration, require special training of the patient for rehabilitation, or may be expected to require a long period of supervision, observation, or care. (Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)Endothelins: 21-Amino-acid peptides produced by vascular endothelial cells and functioning as potent vasoconstrictors. The endothelin family consists of three members, ENDOTHELIN-1; ENDOTHELIN-2; and ENDOTHELIN-3. All three peptides contain 21 amino acids, but vary in amino acid composition. The three peptides produce vasoconstrictor and pressor responses in various parts of the body. However, the quantitative profiles of the pharmacological activities are considerably different among the three isopeptides.Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 5: A cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase subfamily that is highly specific for CYCLIC GMP. It is found predominantly in vascular tissue and plays an important role in regulating VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE contraction.Cardiac Output, Low: A state of subnormal or depressed cardiac output at rest or during stress. It is a characteristic of CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES, including congenital, valvular, rheumatic, hypertensive, coronary, and cardiomyopathic. The serious form of low cardiac output is characterized by marked reduction in STROKE VOLUME, and systemic vasoconstriction resulting in cold, pale, and sometimes cyanotic extremities.Reference Values: The range or frequency distribution of a measurement in a population (of organisms, organs or things) that has not been selected for the presence of disease or abnormality.Heart Rate: The number of times the HEART VENTRICLES contract per unit of time, usually per minute.Follow-Up Studies: Studies in which individuals or populations are followed to assess the outcome of exposures, procedures, or effects of a characteristic, e.g., occurrence of disease.Binding, Competitive: The interaction of two or more substrates or ligands with the same binding site. The displacement of one by the other is used in quantitative and selective affinity measurements.Immunoassay: A technique using antibodies for identifying or quantifying a substance. Usually the substance being studied serves as antigen both in antibody production and in measurement of antibody by the test substance.Diastole: Post-systolic relaxation of the HEART, especially the HEART VENTRICLES.Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular: Enlargement of the LEFT VENTRICLE of the heart. This increase in ventricular mass is attributed to sustained abnormal pressure or volume loads and is a contributor to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.Sequence Homology, Amino Acid: The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.Atrial Function: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the HEART ATRIA.Carbazoles: Benzo-indoles similar to CARBOLINES which are pyrido-indoles. In plants, carbazoles are derived from indole and form some of the INDOLE ALKALOIDS.Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.Organ Size: The measurement of an organ in volume, mass, or heaviness.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Cell-Penetrating Peptides: Peptides that have the ability to enter cells by crossing the plasma membrane directly, or through uptake by the endocytotic pathway.Risk Assessment: The qualitative or quantitative estimation of the likelihood of adverse effects that may result from exposure to specified health hazards or from the absence of beneficial influences. (Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 1988)Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Protein Conformation: The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).Acute Disease: Disease having a short and relatively severe course.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.Renal Circulation: The circulation of the BLOOD through the vessels of the KIDNEY.Tissue Distribution: Accumulation of a drug or chemical substance in various organs (including those not relevant to its pharmacologic or therapeutic action). This distribution depends on the blood flow or perfusion rate of the organ, the ability of the drug to penetrate organ membranes, tissue specificity, protein binding. The distribution is usually expressed as tissue to plasma ratios.Norepinephrine: Precursor of epinephrine that is secreted by the adrenal medulla and is a widespread central and autonomic neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine is the principal transmitter of most postganglionic sympathetic fibers and of the diffuse projection system in the brain arising from the locus ceruleus. It is also found in plants and is used pharmacologically as a sympathomimetic.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Receptors, Guanylate Cyclase-Coupled: A class of cellular membrane receptors that either have an intrinsic guanylate cyclase activity or are closely coupled to specific guanylate cyclases within the cell.Eels: Common name for an order (Anguilliformes) of voracious, elongate, snakelike teleost fishes.Peptide Biosynthesis: The production of PEPTIDES or PROTEINS by the constituents of a living organism. The biosynthesis of proteins on RIBOSOMES following an RNA template is termed translation (TRANSLATION, GENETIC). There are other, non-ribosomal peptide biosynthesis (PEPTIDE BIOSYNTHESIS, NUCLEIC ACID-INDEPENDENT) mechanisms carried out by PEPTIDE SYNTHASES and PEPTIDYLTRANSFERASES. Further modifications of peptide chains yield functional peptide and protein molecules.Treatment Outcome: Evaluation undertaken to assess the results or consequences of management and procedures used in combating disease in order to determine the efficacy, effectiveness, safety, and practicability of these interventions in individual cases or series.Vascular Resistance: The force that opposes the flow of BLOOD through a vascular bed. It is equal to the difference in BLOOD PRESSURE across the vascular bed divided by the CARDIAC OUTPUT.Brain Abscess: A circumscribed collection of purulent exudate in the brain, due to bacterial and other infections. The majority are caused by spread of infected material from a focus of suppuration elsewhere in the body, notably the PARANASAL SINUSES, middle ear (see EAR, MIDDLE); HEART (see also ENDOCARDITIS, BACTERIAL), and LUNG. Penetrating CRANIOCEREBRAL TRAUMA and NEUROSURGICAL PROCEDURES may also be associated with this condition. Clinical manifestations include HEADACHE; SEIZURES; focal neurologic deficits; and alterations of consciousness. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp712-6)Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Structure-Activity Relationship: The relationship between the chemical structure of a compound and its biological or pharmacological activity. Compounds are often classed together because they have structural characteristics in common including shape, size, stereochemical arrangement, and distribution of functional groups.Rats, Inbred SHR: A strain of Rattus norvegicus with elevated blood pressure used as a model for studying hypertension and stroke.Peptide YY: A 36-amino acid peptide produced by the L cells of the distal small intestine and colon. Peptide YY inhibits gastric and pancreatic secretion.Infusions, Intravenous: The long-term (minutes to hours) administration of a fluid into the vein through venipuncture, either by letting the fluid flow by gravity or by pumping it.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Iodine Radioisotopes: Unstable isotopes of iodine that decay or disintegrate emitting radiation. I atoms with atomic weights 117-139, except I 127, are radioactive iodine isotopes.3',5'-Cyclic-GMP Phosphodiesterases: Enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of cyclic GMP to yield guanosine-5'-phosphate.Rats, Inbred WKY: A strain of Rattus norvegicus used as a normotensive control for the spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR).Vasopressins: Antidiuretic hormones released by the NEUROHYPOPHYSIS of all vertebrates (structure varies with species) to regulate water balance and OSMOLARITY. In general, vasopressin is a nonapeptide consisting of a six-amino-acid ring with a cysteine 1 to cysteine 6 disulfide bridge or an octapeptide containing a CYSTINE. All mammals have arginine vasopressin except the pig with a lysine at position 8. Vasopressin, a vasoconstrictor, acts on the KIDNEY COLLECTING DUCTS to increase water reabsorption, increase blood volume and blood pressure.Cyclic AMP: An adenine nucleotide containing one phosphate group which is esterified to both the 3'- and 5'-positions of the sugar moiety. It is a second messenger and a key intracellular regulator, functioning as a mediator of activity for a number of hormones, including epinephrine, glucagon, and ACTH.Autoradiography: The making of a radiograph of an object or tissue by recording on a photographic plate the radiation emitted by radioactive material within the object. (Dorland, 27th ed)Vasodilator Agents: Drugs used to cause dilation of the blood vessels.Models, Molecular: Models used experimentally or theoretically to study molecular shape, electronic properties, or interactions; includes analogous molecules, computer-generated graphics, and mechanical structures.Peptide Nucleic Acids: DNA analogs containing neutral amide backbone linkages composed of aminoethyl glycine units instead of the usual phosphodiester linkage of deoxyribose groups. Peptide nucleic acids have high biological stability and higher affinity for complementary DNA or RNA sequences than analogous DNA oligomers.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Enzyme Inhibitors: Compounds or agents that combine with an enzyme in such a manner as to prevent the normal substrate-enzyme combination and the catalytic reaction.Hypertension, Pulmonary: Increased VASCULAR RESISTANCE in the PULMONARY CIRCULATION, usually secondary to HEART DISEASES or LUNG DISEASES.Risk Factors: An aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, or inborn or inherited characteristic, which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence, is known to be associated with a health-related condition considered important to prevent.Hagfishes: Common name for a family of eel-shaped jawless fishes (Myxinidae), the only family in the order MYXINIFORMES. They are not true vertebrates.Peptide Hydrolases: Hydrolases that specifically cleave the peptide bonds found in PROTEINS and PEPTIDES. Examples of sub-subclasses for this group include EXOPEPTIDASES and ENDOPEPTIDASES.Furosemide: A benzoic-sulfonamide-furan. It is a diuretic with fast onset and short duration that is used for EDEMA and chronic RENAL INSUFFICIENCY.Hormones: Chemical substances having a specific regulatory effect on the activity of a certain organ or organs. The term was originally applied to substances secreted by various ENDOCRINE GLANDS and transported in the bloodstream to the target organs. It is sometimes extended to include those substances that are not produced by the endocrine glands but that have similar effects.Systole: Period of contraction of the HEART, especially of the HEART VENTRICLES.Mass Spectrometry: An analytical method used in determining the identity of a chemical based on its mass using mass analyzers/mass spectrometers.Peptide Hormones: Hormones synthesized from amino acids. They are distinguished from INTERCELLULAR SIGNALING PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS in that their actions are systemic.Antihypertensive Agents: Drugs used in the treatment of acute or chronic vascular HYPERTENSION regardless of pharmacological mechanism. Among the antihypertensive agents are DIURETICS; (especially DIURETICS, THIAZIDE); ADRENERGIC BETA-ANTAGONISTS; ADRENERGIC ALPHA-ANTAGONISTS; ANGIOTENSIN-CONVERTING ENZYME INHIBITORS; CALCIUM CHANNEL BLOCKERS; GANGLIONIC BLOCKERS; and VASODILATOR AGENTS.Heart Failure, Diastolic: Heart failure caused by abnormal myocardial relaxation during DIASTOLE leading to defective cardiac filling.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.PurinonesElectrocardiography: Recording of the moment-to-moment electromotive forces of the HEART as projected onto various sites on the body's surface, delineated as a scalar function of time. The recording is monitored by a tracing on slow moving chart paper or by observing it on a cardioscope, which is a CATHODE RAY TUBE DISPLAY.PolysaccharidesImmunoradiometric Assay: Form of radioimmunoassay in which excess specific labeled antibody is added directly to the test antigen being measured.Aorta: The main trunk of the systemic arteries.Protease Inhibitors: Compounds which inhibit or antagonize biosynthesis or actions of proteases (ENDOPEPTIDASES).Sodium, Dietary: Sodium or sodium compounds used in foods or as a food. The most frequently used compounds are sodium chloride or sodium glutamate.Phosphorylation: The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety.DNA, Complementary: Single-stranded complementary DNA synthesized from an RNA template by the action of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. cDNA (i.e., complementary DNA, not circular DNA, not C-DNA) is used in a variety of molecular cloning experiments as well as serving as a specific hybridization probe.Multivariate Analysis: A set of techniques used when variation in several variables has to be studied simultaneously. In statistics, multivariate analysis is interpreted as any analytic method that allows simultaneous study of two or more dependent variables.Protein Structure, Secondary: The level of protein structure in which regular hydrogen-bond interactions within contiguous stretches of polypeptide chain give rise to alpha helices, beta strands (which align to form beta sheets) or other types of coils. This is the first folding level of protein conformation.Nitric Oxide: A free radical gas produced endogenously by a variety of mammalian cells, synthesized from ARGININE by NITRIC OXIDE SYNTHASE. Nitric oxide is one of the ENDOTHELIUM-DEPENDENT RELAXING FACTORS released by the vascular endothelium and mediates VASODILATION. It also inhibits platelet aggregation, induces disaggregation of aggregated platelets, and inhibits platelet adhesion to the vascular endothelium. Nitric oxide activates cytosolic GUANYLATE CYCLASE and thus elevates intracellular levels of CYCLIC GMP.Creatine Kinase, MB Form: An isoenzyme of creatine kinase found in the CARDIAC MUSCLE.Endothelium, Vascular: Single pavement layer of cells which line the luminal surface of the entire vascular system and regulate the transport of macromolecules and blood components.Case-Control Studies: Studies which start with the identification of persons with a disease of interest and a control (comparison, referent) group without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing diseased and non-diseased persons with regard to the frequency or levels of the attribute in each group.Gastrin-Releasing Peptide: Neuropeptide and gut hormone that helps regulate GASTRIC ACID secretion and motor function. Once released from nerves in the antrum of the STOMACH, the neuropeptide stimulates release of GASTRIN from the GASTRIN-SECRETING CELLS.Molecular Weight: The sum of the weight of all the atoms in a molecule.Cardiomyopathies: A group of diseases in which the dominant feature is the involvement of the CARDIAC MUSCLE itself. Cardiomyopathies are classified according to their predominant pathophysiological features (DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY; HYPERTROPHIC CARDIOMYOPATHY; RESTRICTIVE CARDIOMYOPATHY) or their etiological/pathological factors (CARDIOMYOPATHY, ALCOHOLIC; ENDOCARDIAL FIBROELASTOSIS).Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel: Electrophoresis in which a polyacrylamide gel is used as the diffusion medium.Protein Structure, Tertiary: The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Muscle, Smooth, Vascular: The nonstriated involuntary muscle tissue of blood vessels.Epitopes: Sites on an antigen that interact with specific antibodies.Glycopeptides: Proteins which contain carbohydrate groups attached covalently to the polypeptide chain. The protein moiety is the predominant group with the carbohydrate making up only a small percentage of the total weight.Sodium Chloride: A ubiquitous sodium salt that is commonly used to season food.Blood-Brain Barrier: Specialized non-fenestrated tightly-joined ENDOTHELIAL CELLS with TIGHT JUNCTIONS that form a transport barrier for certain substances between the cerebral capillaries and the BRAIN tissue.Vasodilation: The physiological widening of BLOOD VESSELS by relaxing the underlying VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE.C-Reactive Protein: A plasma protein that circulates in increased amounts during inflammation and after tissue damage.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Peptide PHI: A 27-amino acid peptide with histidine at the N-terminal and isoleucine amide at the C-terminal. The exact amino acid composition of the peptide is species dependent. The peptide is secreted in the intestine, but is found in the nervous system, many organs, and in the majority of peripheral tissues. It has a wide range of biological actions, affecting the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous systems.Receptors, Formyl Peptide: A family of G-protein-coupled receptors that was originally identified by its ability to bind N-formyl peptides such as N-FORMYLMETHIONINE LEUCYL-PHENYLALANINE. Since N-formyl peptides are found in MITOCHONDRIA and BACTERIA, this class of receptors is believed to play a role in mediating cellular responses to cellular damage and bacterial invasion. However, non-formylated peptide ligands have also been found for this receptor class.Peptide Synthases: Ligases that catalyze the joining of adjacent AMINO ACIDS by the formation of carbon-nitrogen bonds between their carboxylic acid groups and amine groups.Cerebral Cortex: The thin layer of GRAY MATTER on the surface of the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES that develops from the TELENCEPHALON and folds into gyri and sulchi. It reaches its highest development in humans and is responsible for intellectual faculties and higher mental functions.