Atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) is degraded by neutral endopeptidase. We hypothesized that neutral endopeptidase inhibition (NEP-I) increases sodium excretion and that this effect would be potentiated in the presence of an isolated increase in intrarenal ANF. In seven anesthetized dogs, ANF was infused into one renal artery to produce pathophysiologic concentrations in the supplemented kidney while the control kidney received physiologic circulating concentrations of ANF. In the control kidney, NEP-I (SQ 28,603) produced significant increases in urine flow, absolute sodium excretion and fractional sodium excretion while glomerular filtration rate (GFR) remained constant. These renal actions of NEP-I were associated with marked increases in urinary excretion of ANF and cyclic GMP consistent with decreased renal degradation and increased biologic activity of ANF. All of these effects were significantly greater in the supplemented kidney. The present study suggests that NEP-I produces natriuresis which appears to be independent of changes in GFR. In addition, while NEP-I mimics the renal action of pathophysiologic levels of ANF, NEP-I also potentiates the natriuretic effects of pathophysiologic concentrations of ANF as observed in congestive heart failure or hypertension.
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