Previous studies of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) have indicated that its release from the heart and from discrete areas of the central nervous system evokes coordinated physiological and behavioral adjustments that mitigate the adverse hypertensive effects of volume overload and/or acute increases in sodium intake. Because the reflex activity initiated by arterial chemoreceptors of the carotid body directly contributes to the integrated regulation of systemic blood pressure, we have investigated the possibility that ANP has a significant role in the chemosensory process as well. Our immunocytochemical studies show that ANP-like immunoreactivity is present in the preneural chemosensitive type I cells in the cat carotid body. Furthermore we found that the biologically active ANP fragment atriopeptin III is a potent inhibitor of carotid sinus nerve activity evoked by hypoxia. Our findings suggest that circulating and/or endogenous ANP may modulate carotid body function as part of a coordinated response to changes in systemic volume and solute balance.
- Copyright © 1991 the American Physiological Society