We previously demonstrated that C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), originally isolated from the porcine brain, is produced by endothelial cells and proposed that CNP can exert local control over vascular tone and growth as a local regulator from endothelial cells. Since cytokines play pivotal roles in the control of vascular tone and structure, we have examined effects of various cytokines on CNP secretion from endothelial cells using the specific radioimmunoassay for CNP. While interleukin (IL)-2 had no significant effect on CNP secretion, IL-1 α, IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α stimulated CNP secretion in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Among them, TNF-α, one of the key mediators for inflammation and vascular remodeling, induced more than two orders of magnitude increase in CNP secretion. In addition, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) potently stimulated CNP secretion. These results indicate that IL-1, TNF-α and LPS, the endotoxin itself, can regulate local vascular tone and growth through the activation of CNP secretion from endothelial cells. Therefore, CNP could be of clinical relevance as an autocrine/paracrine regulator from endothelial cells for systemic and local cytokine-associated disorders, such as endotoxin shock and atherosclerosis.
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