Article: PDF OnlyRichards A. MarkJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology: 1990 - p S39-S42 Free Abstract Summary Recent debate has centered on the possible role of atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) as a physiological regulator of natriuresis. Plasma ANF rises with increased dietary sodium, during intravenous infusion of a saline load, and with change from upright to recumbent posture. Peptide secretion is proportional to atrial distension such that plasma concentrations rise 10–15 pM for each mm Hg increment in either right or left atrial pressures. ANF administered to humans in a low dose (0.75 pmol/kg/min) produces an increase in plasma concentrations within the normal range and induces natriuresis, excretion of cGMP, and suppression of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone activity. These results are consistent with a role for ANF in the physiological regulation of sodium excretion. Factors that clearly modify the natriuretic effect of ANF include volume/sodium status and renal perfusion pressure. Variations in these modifying factors may account for some of the reported inconsistencies in natriuresis observed in clinical high-ANF states such as congestive heart failure and tachycardia and in experimental circumstances including balloon-induced atrial distension in the cardiac-denervated dog. Overall, current data favor a role for ANF in the physiological regulation of sodium excretion in humans but more definitive evidence must await the advent of a specific ANF antagonist. Copyright © 1990 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.