Atrial natriuretic factor in maternal and fetal sheep

C. Y. Cheung, D. M. Gibbs, R. A. Brace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


To determine atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) concentrations in the circulation and body fluids of adult pregnant sheep and their fetuses, pregnant ewes were anesthetized with pentobarbital sodium, and the fetuses were exteriorized for sampling. ANF concentration, as measured by radioimmunoassay, was 47 ± 6 (SE) pg/ml in maternal plasma, which was significantly higher than the 15 ± 3 pg/ml in maternal urine. In the fetus, plasma ANF concentration was 265 ± 49 pg/ml, 5.6 times that in maternal plasma. No umbilical arterial and venous difference in ANF concentration was observed. Fetal urine ANF concentration (13 ± 2 pg/ml) was significantly lower than that in fetal plasma, and was similar to that measured in amniotic and allantoic fluid. In chronically catheterized maternal and fetal sheep, fetal plasma ANF was again 5.1 times that in maternal plasma, and these levels were not different from those measured in acutely anesthetized animals. These results demonstrate that immunoreactive ANF is present in the fetal circulation at levels higher than those found in the mother. The low concentration of ANF in fetal urine suggests that ANF is probably metabolized and/or reabsorbed by the fetal kidney.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E279-E282
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2 (15/2)
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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