Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), also called atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), atrial natriuretic hormone (ANH), cardionatrine, cardiodilatin (CDD), or atriopeptin, is a powerful vasodilator, and a protein (polypeptide) hormone secreted by heart muscle cells.
It is involved in the homeostatic control of body water, sodium, potassium and fat (adipose tissue). It is released by muscle cells in the upper chambers (atria) of the heart (atrial myocytes) in response to high blood volume. ANP acts to reduce the water, sodium and adipose loads on the circulatory system, thereby reducing blood pressure.
ANP has exactly the opposite function of the aldosterone secreted by the zona glomerulosa in regard to its effect on sodium in the kidney – that is, aldosterone stimulates sodium retention and ANP generates sodium loss.
Hyponatremia and natriuresis were present in most patients after neurosurgery; however, the atrial natriuretic factor cannot be considered to be directly responsible for these alterations in neurosurgery patients. Other natriuretic factors are likely to be involved 1).