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Open Access

Cyclic GMP generated by natriuretic peptide receptor B enhances β1-adrenoceptor signaling in normal and failing hearts

  • Silja Meier1, 2Email author,
  • Jan Magnus Aronsen2, 3,
  • Ivar Sjaastad2, 3,
  • Finn Olav Levy1, 2,
  • Tor Skomedal1, 2,
  • Jan-Bjørn Osnes1, 2 and
  • Eirik Qvigstad1, 2
BMC Pharmacology201111(Suppl 1):P46

Published: 1 August 2011


Atrial (ANP), B-type (BNP) and C-type (CNP) natriuretic peptide levels are increased in heart failure. Natriuretic peptides mediate their effects through natriuretic peptide receptors (NPRs), ANP and BNP preferentially through NPR-A and CNP through NPR-B. NPRs are membrane bound guanylyl cyclases that increase cyclic GMP (cGMP) production when activated. Increased cGMP levels may have beneficial cardiovascular effects through protein kinase G. In contrast, we have previously shown that NPR-B stimulation by CNP enhances β1-adrenoceptor (β1-AR) mediated signaling in failing hearts through inhibition of phosphodiesterase 3 (PDE3) [1]. This cardioexcitatory influence is longstanding and is thus probably detrimental in the failing heart. However, a comparison of the PDE3 inhibitory effect of NPR-B signaling in non-failing and failing hearts was not elucidated.


Heart failure was induced in male Wistar rats by coronary artery ligation. Contraction studies were performed ex vivo in left ventricular muscle strips in the presence of appropriate receptor antagonists.

Results and conclusion

We now demonstrate that CNP through NPR-B is able to potently inhibit PDE3 and thus increase cAMP signaling in non-failing as in failing hearts. This was evident from a marked ability of CNP to potentiate the inotropic and lusitropic responses to β1-AR stimulation in left ventricular strips. This conserved mechanism may enhance detrimental β1-AR effects during pathological remodeling, and may contribute to the development of the failing cardiac phenotype.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Pharmacology, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital
Center for Heart Failure Research, University of Oslo
Institute for Experimental Medical Research, University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital


  1. Qvigstad E, Moltzau LR, Aronsen JM, Nguyen CH, Hougen K, Sjaastad I, Levy FO, Skomedal T, Osnes JB: Natriuretic peptides increase β1-adrenoceptor signalling in failing hearts through phosphodiesterase 3 inhibition. Cardiovasc Res. 2010, 85: 763-772. 10.1093/cvr/cvp364.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar


© Meier et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.