Any of several peptides that stimulate diuresis (increased urine production) and vasodilatation (widening of blood vessels). They act on the kidney tubules to promote excretion of sodium (natriuresis) and water. Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) is produced in the atria of the heart in response to a rise in atrial pressure. Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is produced in the brain and the ventricles of the heart, mainly in response to stretching of the ventricular muscle (as occurs in congestive heart failure). Measurement of blood levels of BNP is used as a screening test (the BNP test) for the detection of heart failure; levels >99 ng/l indicate a positive result.
Subjects: Chemistry — Medicine and Health.