Regulation of atrial natriuretic factor secretion and expression in the ovine fetus

Cecilia Y. Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The cardiac hormone atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) is present in the fetal circulation at high concentrations and exceeds that in the maternal circulation. Administration of exogenous ANF into the near-term ovine fetus lowers arterial pressure and reduces blood volume. The fetal kidney responds to ANF with a diuresis and natriuresis. The physiological stimuli which modulate ANF secretion in the fetus include vascular volume expansion, hyperosmolality and hypoxia, with hypoxia being the most potent stimulus. In addition, endothelin administration into the fetus increases plasma ANF concentrations. The fetal atria appears to be the primary site of ANF synthesis, although the ventricles also produce ANF. The expression of ANF peptide and its messenger RNA in the fetal atria and ventricles demonstrate a developmental pattern. Thus, the secretion of ANF may be mediated by factors such as endothelin and may be augmented by stimuli such as hypoxia which acts through induction of cardiac ANF gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-164
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetal development
  • Gene expression
  • Natriuretic factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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