The role of neutral endopeptidase in dogs with evolving congestive heart failure

Kenneth B. Margulies, Paul L. Barclay, John C. Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background: Recent studies suggest that neurohumoral mechanisms including decreased renal responses to increases in atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) play a central role in the progression from asymptomatic cardiac dysfunction to advanced congestive heart failure (CHF) with sodium retention, vasoconstriction, and reduced exercise tolerance. Recognizing that neutral endopeptidase 24.11 degrades ANF and may be enhanced in CHF, we hypothesized that chronic neutral endopeptidase inhibition (NEP-I) would potentiate renal responses to exogenous ANF and alter the temporal evolution of sodium retention in evolving CHF by potentiation of increased endogenous ANF. Methods and Results: We studied 13 conscious dogs with evolving CHF produced by rapid ventricular pacing at 250 beats per minute. Six of these dogs received NEP-I with candoxatril, 10 mg/kg PO BID, throughout evolving CHF. Responses to exogenous ANF, 10 μg/kg IV bolus, were assessed at baseline and after 6 days of CHF. Daily metabolic studies during evolving CHF with chronic NEP-I showed increased sodium excretion and renal cGMP generation consistent with enhanced renal activity of endogenous ANF compared with untreated controls. In addition, renal natriuretic and cGMP responses to exogenous ANF were intact in CHF with chronic NEP-I in contrast to markedly attenuated renal responses to exogenous ANF in untreated CHF. Despite enhanced ANF responsiveness and improved sodium balance in evolving CHF, a moderate degree of sodium retention was observed during chronic NEP-I in evolving CHF. Conclusions: Enzymatic degradation by neutral endopeptidase limits local renal responses to increases in endogenous and exogenous ANF in CHF independent of changes in systemic hemodynamics or augmented plasma concentrations of ANF. The moderate sodium retention observed during evolving CHF despite chronic NEP-I probably reflects the antinatriuretic effects of hemodynamic and humoral factors independent of ANF activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2036-2042
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 1995


  • atrial natriuretic factor
  • heart failure
  • natriuretic peptides
  • sodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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