The present study was undertaken to investigate the presence of C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) immunoreactivity in cultured human vascular endothelial cells and in human plasma. CNP immunoreactivity was present in cultured human aortic endothelial cells by both immunohistochemical staining and by radioimmunoassay. With the utilization of gel permeation chromatography, this immunoreactivity proved to be consistent with the higher molecular weight CNP-53. CNP immunoreactivity was also present in human plasma (n = 22) at low picogram concentrations (6.5 +/- 0.2 pg/ml) by specific radioimmunoassay. This immunoreactivity was consistent with the lower molecular weight CNP-22 by gel permeation chromatography. These findings suggest that the vascular endothelium may be the site of CNP production. The isolation of different molecular forms of CNP in tissue and plasma may be consistent with a storage form of the peptide in endothelial cells CNP-53, while CNP-22 circulates in plasma. In summary, the present study is consistent with CNP being a peptide of endothelial cell origin.
- Copyright © 1992 the American Physiological Society