Background: Adrenomedullin (ADM) is a newly discovered vasodilating and natriuretic peptide that may play an important role in cardiorenal regulation. Although ADM was originally isolated from human pheochromocytoma, ADM-like immunoreactivity has also been widely detected in various tissues, including the cardiovascular system. Methods and Results: In view of reports that ADM circulates in the body and that ADM gene and ADM-like immunoreactivity are present in the heart, the present study was designed to determine the plasma concentration of ADM in healthy subjects and in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) and to investigate the immunohistochemical presence and localization of ADM in normal and failing human hearts. Plasma ADM concentration was 13.2±2.3 pg/mL in healthy subjects (n=11) and increased to 47.3±6.7 pg/mL in patients with CHF (n=11, P<.05 versus normal). Human cardiac tissues were obtained from five patients with end stage CHF undergoing cardiac transplantation. Five normal donor hearts that were used for cardiac transplantation served as sources for normal atrial tissues. Normal ventricular myocardium was also obtained by endomyocardial biopsy from the right ventricles of these donor hearts immediately before cardiac transplantation. Positive immunostaining was detected within the myocardia in both atria and ventricles of healthy and severely failing human transplanted hearts and was more intense in the atria than in the ventricles. Although there were no significant differences in the intensity of immunoreactivity between normal and failing atria, ADM immunoreactivity was significantly more intense in the ventricular myocytes from failing hearts compared with normal hearts. Conclusions: The present study demonstrates that plasma concentration of ADM is increased in patients with CHF and that ADM is present in the human heart. ADM immunoreactivity is markedly increased in the failing human ventricle, suggesting that ventricular ADM expression may be influenced by the circumstances associated with CHF. This supports a potential role for this newly identified vasoactive and natriuretic peptide, ADM, in the neurohumoral activation that characterizes human CHF.
- heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)