Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AIMS: C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) is an essential endothelium-derived signalling species that governs vascular homoeostasis; CNP is also expressed in the heart but an intrinsic role for the peptide in cardiac function is not established. Herein, we employ unique transgenic strains with cell-specific deletion of CNP to define a central (patho)physiological capacity of CNP in maintaining heart morphology and contractility. METHODS AND RESULTS: Cardiac structure and function were explored in wild type (WT), cardiomyocyte (cmCNP-/-), endothelium (ecCNP-/-), and fibroblast (fbCNP-/-)-specific CNP knockout mice, and global natriuretic peptide receptor (NPR)-B-/-, and NPR-C-/- animals at baseline and in experimental models of myocardial infarction and heart failure (HF). Endothelium-specific deletion of CNP resulted in impaired coronary responsiveness to endothelium-dependent- and flow-mediated-dilatation; changes mirrored in NPR-C-/- mice. Ex vivo, global ischaemia resulted in larger infarcts and diminished functional recovery in cmCNP-/- and NPR-C-/-, but not ecCNP-/-, vs. WT. The cardiac phenotype of cmCNP-/-, fbCNP-/-, and NPR-C-/- (but not ecCNP-/- or NPR-B-/-) mice was more severe in pressure overload- and sympathetic hyperactivation-induced HF compared with WT; these adverse effects were rescued by pharmacological CNP administration in WT, but not NPR-C-/-, mice. At a molecular level, CNP/NPR-C signalling is impaired in human HF but attenuates activation of well-validated pro-hypertrophic and pro-fibrotic pathways. CONCLUSION: C-type natriuretic peptide of cardiomyocyte, endothelial and fibroblast origins co-ordinates and preserves cardiac structure, function, and coronary vasoreactivity via activation of NPR-C. Targeting NPR-C may prove an innovative approach to treating HF and ischaemic cardiovascular disorders.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Heart J

Publication Date



Heart failure, Cardiomyocyte, Endothelium, Ischaemia/reperfusion injury, Natriuretic peptide, Natriuretic peptide receptor