Atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), a recently sequenced cardiac peptide, has been shown to have potent natriuretic, diuretic, and vasodilating effects in several species. We have developed a radioimmunoassay to measure the levels of immunoreactive ANF in human plasma. Plasma levels of ANF in healthy volunteers on a low sodium diet were 9.8 +/- 1.4 pmol/liter and increased to 21.9 +/- 3.0 on a high sodium diet. The levels of atrial natriuretic factor correlated directly with urinary sodium and inversely with plasma renin activity and plasma aldosterone levels. Patients with marked edema due to congestive heart failure had plasma levels of atrial natriuretic factor five times higher than normal (P less than 0.05), whereas patients with cirrhosis and edema had levels that were not different from normal. These results suggest that atrial natriuretic factor plays an important role in the adaptation to increased sodium intake.
Y Shenker, R S Sider, E A Ostafin, R J Grekin