Natriuretic peptides relax human intrarenal arteries through natriuretic peptide receptor type-A recapitulated by soluble guanylyl cyclase agonists

Andreas Frees, Kasper B. Assersen, Mia Jensen, Pernille B.L. Hansen, Paul M. Vanhoutte, Kirsten Madsen, Anna Federlein, Lars Lund, Anja Toft, Boye L. Jensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Aim: Natriuretic peptides, BNP and ANP increase renal blood flow in experimental animals. The signalling pathway in human kidney vasculature is unknown. It was hypothesized that BNP and ANP cause endothelium-independent relaxation of human intrarenal arteries by vascular natriuretic peptide receptor-A, but not -B and -C, which is mimicked by agonists of soluble guanylyl cyclase sGC. Methods: Human (n = 54, diameter: 665 ± 29 µm 95% CI) and control murine intrarenal arteries (n = 83, diameter 300 ± 6 µm 95% CI) were dissected and used for force recording by four-channel wire myography. Arterial segments were pre-contracted, then subjected to increasing concentrations of BNP, ANP, phosphodiesterase 5-inhibitor sildenafil, sGC-activator BAY 60-2770 and -stimulator BAY 41-2272. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) dependence was examined by use of L-NAME and eNOS knockout respectively. Molecular targets (NPR A-C, sGC, phosphodiesterase-5 and neprilysin) were mapped by PCR, immunohistochemistry and RNAscope. Results: BNP, ANP, sildenafil, sGC-activation and -stimulation caused concentration-dependent relaxation of human and murine intrarenal arteries. BNP responses were independent of eNOS and were not potentiated by low concentration of phosphodiesterase-5-inhibitor, sGC-stimulator or NPR-C blocker. PCR showed NPR-A and C, phosphodiesterase-5, neprilysin and sGC mRNA in renal arteries. NPR-A mRNA and protein was observed in vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells in arteries, podocytes, Bowmans capsule and vasa recta. NPR-C was observed in tubules, glomeruli and vasculature. Conclusion: Activation of transmembrane NPR-A and soluble guanylyl cyclase relax human preglomerular arteries similarly to phosphodiestase-5 inhibition. The human renal arterial bed relaxes in response to cGMP pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13565
JournalActa Physiologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • cGMP
  • endothelium
  • eNOS
  • hypertension
  • kidney

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