Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Atrial natriuretic factor—a circulating hormone stimulated by volume loading


The cardiocytes of mammalian cardiac atria contain granules very similar to those in endocrine cells1,2. The number of these atrial granules is related directly to salt loading and blood volume3. Furthermore, crude extracts of rat atria and granule preparations have powerful natriuretic and diuretic effects4,5. These effects are mediated by peptides identified previously as atrial natriuretic factor (ANF). The peptides are derived from a common precursor, whose structure has been elucidated recently6–15. Although there is indirect evidence from morphological studies that at least some of these peptides may be released into the blood and function as hormones, their presence in the blood has not yet been demonstrated. Here we describe a sensitive and specific radio-immunoassay for ANF and its stimulation on volume loading.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Kisch, B. Expl Med. Surg. 14, 99–112 (1956).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Palade, G. E. Anat. Rec. 139, 262 (1961).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Marie, J. P., Guillemot, H. & Hatt, P. Y. Path. Biol. 24, 549–554 (1976).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Sonnenberg, H., Veress, A. T., Borenstein, H. B. & de Bold, A. J. Physiologist 23, 13 (1980).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Garcia, R., Cantin, M., Thibault, G. & Genest, J. Experientia 38, 1071–1073 (1982).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Atlas, S. A. et al. Nature 309, 717–719 (1984).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Flynn, T. G., de Bold, M. L. & de Bold, A. J. Biochem. biophys. Res. Commun. 117, 859–865 (1983).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Geller, D. M. et al. Biochem. biophys. Res. Commun. 120, 333–338 (1984).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Kangawa, K., Fukuda, A., Minamino, N. & Matsuo, H. Biochem. biophys. Res. Commun. 119, 933–940 (1984).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Kangawa, K., Fukuda, A., Kubota, I., Hayashi, Y. & Matsuo, H. Biochem. biophys. Res. Commun. 121, 585–591 (1984).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Maki, M. et al. Nature 309, 722–724 (1984).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Oikawa, S. et al. Nature 309, 724–726 (1984).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Seidah, N. G. et al. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 81, 2640–2544 (1984).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Seidmann, C. E. et al. Science 225, 324–326 (1984).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  15. Yamanaka, M. et al. Nature 309, 719–722 (1984).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  16. Langendorff, O. Pflügers Arch. ges. Physiol. 61, 291–332 (1985).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Haddy, F. J. Ann. intern. Med. 93, 781–784 (1983).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. de Wardener, H. E. Clin. Sci. 21, 249–258 (1961).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. de Wardener, H. E. Clin. Sci. molec. Med. 53, 1–8 (1977).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Sealey, J. E., Kirschmann, J. D. & Laragh, J. H. J. clin. Invest. 48, 2210–2224 (1969).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Skowsky, W. R. & Fisher, D. F. J. Lab. clin. Med. 80, 134–144 (1972).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Hunter, H. W. & Greenwood, F. C. Nature 194, 495–496 (1984).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lang, R., Thölken, H., Ganten, D. et al. Atrial natriuretic factor—a circulating hormone stimulated by volume loading. Nature 314, 264–266 (1985).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing