Natriuretic peptides play a fundamental role in cardiovascular homeostasis by modulation of fluid and electrolyte balance and vascular tone. C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) represents the paracrine element of the natriuretic peptide axis which complements the endocrine actions of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP). CNP is produced by the endothelium and the heart and appears to play a prominent role in vascular and cardiac function, both physiologically and pathologically. This provides a rationale for the therapeutic potential of pharmacological interventions targeted to CNP signalling. This article provides an overview of the biology and pharmacology of CNP, with emphasis on the cardiovascular system, and discusses pathologies in which drugs designed to manipulate CNP signalling maybe of clinical benefit.
Keywords: Natriuretic peptide, endothelium, vasodilatation, platelet, leukocyte, cardiovascular disease
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