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Patients with serious kidney disorder produce natriuretic peptides at above average rates

Bethesda, MD (July 10, 2002) -- Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is a condition marked by very high levels of protein in the urine; low levels of protein in the blood; swelling, especially around the eyes, feet, and hands; and high cholesterol. Nephrotic syndrome results from damage to the kidneys' glomeruli, the tiny blood vessels that filter waste and excess water from the blood and send them to the bladder as urine. Nephrotic syndrome can occur with many diseases, including the kidney diseases caused by diabetes mellitus, but some causes are unknown.

Found in many patients with nephroitic syndrome and associated kidney failure are the natriuretic peptides, a class of compounds of low molecular weight, yielding two or more amino acids. They are secreted by the heart and act as hormones causing expanded vascular tube size, increased excretion of urine, and abnormal secretions of sodium into urine. One of the natriuretic peptides, C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), has been found in increased levels in the blood of patients with renal failure; yet, the corresponding levels found in kidneys have been to date unclear. Researchers have failed to establish whether CNP is present in kidneys from nephrotic patients or if a low-protein diet impacts on the peptide's presence in the blood or urinary excretion.

A team of researchers from the United States and Italy have joined together to determine the presence and localization of CNP mRNA (a single stranded RNA molecule that specifies the amino acid sequence of one or more polypeptide chains) in the normal human kidney. Their study objectives also included the presence of CNP in patients with nephrotic syndrome as well as the peptide's presence in blood and urine of subjects with kidney disease and those without the disorder. Their final objective was to assess how a low-protein diet affected CNP levels in blood and urinary excretions, primarily as an indication of how such a diet would impact on the kidney's ex
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Contact: Donna Krupa
djkrupa1@aol.com
703-527-7357
American Physiological Society
15-Jul-2002


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