The natriuretic peptides (NPs), atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), have vasoactive functions that concern humans and most animals, but their specific effects on cerebral circulation are poorly understood. We therefore examined the responsiveness of cerebral arteries to different doses of the natriuretic peptides in animals and humans. We conducted a dose-response experiment in guinea pigs (in vitro) and a double-blind, three-way cross-over study in healthy volunteers (in vivo). In the animal experiment, we administered cumulative doses of NPs to pre-contracted segments of cerebral arteries. In the main study, six healthy volunteers were randomly allocated to receive two intravenous doses of ANP, BNP or CNP, respectively, over 20 min on three separate study days. We recorded blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery (VMCA) by transcranial Doppler. In addition, we measured temporal and radial artery diameters, headache response and plasma concentrations of the NPs. In guinea pigs, ANP and BNP but not CNP showed significant dose-dependent relaxation of cerebral arteries. In healthy humans, NP infusion had no effect on mean VMCA, and we found no difference in hemodynamic responses between the NPs. Furthermore, natriuretic peptides did not affect temporal and radial artery diameters or induce headache. In conclusion, natriuretic peptides in physiological and pharmacological doses do not affect blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery or dilate extracerebral arteries in healthy volunteers.
- Cerebral arteries
- Cerebral blood flow
- Natriuretic peptides
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience