The last two centuries have witnessed countless discoveries in the field of medicine that found their roots in the up growing development of technology as well as in the visionary ideas of brilliant scientists and research groups. One of the most important discoveries in the field of cardiovascular medicine allowed to break the paradigm identifying the heart with mere mechanical pump and to characterize its intriguing endocrine properties. Indeed, the discovery of hormones produced by the cardiac chambers, the natriuretic peptides, represents one of the milestones of the current conception of complexity of integrated human physiology. In the last four decades, the role of these hormones in the regulation of the cardiovascular system, in physiology and diseases, has been defined piece after piece. From diagnostic and prognostic markers, natriuretic peptides have become one of the most relevant clinical biomarker and a reliable target for establishing the efficacy of therapies. Recently and successfully, natriuretic peptide-based strategies are proposed as therapeutic weapons to improve outcome in heart failure. The future will witness potential further therapeutic application of natriuretic peptides that are currently being actively investigated.
- Cardiovascular Agents/administration & dosage
- Heart Failure/drug therapy
- Natriuretic Peptides/metabolism
- Renin-Angiotensin System/drug effects