Hypotension in transgenic mice expressing atrial natriuretic factor fusion genes

Mark E. Steinhelper, Karen L. Cochrane, Loren J. Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

212 Scopus citations


Chronic regulation of the cardiovascular system by atrial natriuretic factor was investigated by generating transgenic mice with elevated hormone levels in the systemic circulation. A fusion gene comprising the mouse transthyretin promoter and mouse atrial natriuretic factor structural sequences was designed so as to target hormone expression to the liver. Hepatic expression of atrial natriuretic factor was detectable as early as embryonic day 15 in transgenic animals. In adult transgenic mice, plasma immunoreactive atrial natriuretic factor concentration was elevated at least eightfold as compared with nontransgenic littermates. The mean arterial pressure of conscious transgenic mice was 75.5±0.9 mm Hg, significantly less than that of nontransgenic siblings (103.9±2.0 mm Hg). This difference in mean arterial pressure was not accompanied by significant changes in several other physiological parameters, including heart rate, plasma and urinary electrolytes, water intake, and urine volume. This study demonstrates that a chronic elevation of plasma atrial natriuretic factor decreases arterial blood pressure without inducing diuresis and natriuresis in transgenic mice and also illustrates the value of the transgenic approach for the study of the cardiovascular system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1990


  • Atrial natriuretic factor
  • Blood pressure
  • Genetics
  • Hypotension
  • Water-electrolyte balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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