Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (ANF), is secreted by atrial myocytes in response to atrial stretch. Its plasma levels have been found elevated in conditions leading to salt and fluid repletion and consequent atrial distention. Recently, it has been demonstrated that dexamethasone can enhance ANF secretion, by acting on ANF gene expression and mRNA synthesis. High plasma levels of ANF have been observed in normal man after administration of Cortisol and ACTH. In the case of glucocorticoid excess, as in Cushing’s disease, limited and conflicting data are available. Therefore, we measured ANF basal values and ANF response to postural changes and volume expansion in eight patients with Cushing’s disease. In our patients ANF values were higher than normals. ANF responded to volume expansion, 47.8 ± 5.1 pg/ml before sodium load and 69.9 ± 7.0 pg/ml after sodium load, and changed minimally after postural manoeuvres, 47.3 ± 3.2 pg/ml supine and 41.7 ± 5.1 pg/ml upright. These data indicate that ANF secretion is enhanced in Cushing’s disease, and its regulation is partially altered. Since in this condition hypervolemia has not been certainly demonstrated, a direct relationship between elevated ANF and glucocorticoid excess could be suggested.
- adrenal cortex
- Cushing’s disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism