Brain natriuretic peptide molecule

Brain natriuretic peptide molecule

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Brain natriuretic peptide molecule. Computer model showing the structure of a molecule of the hormone brain natriuretic peptide (BNP). Atoms are colour-coded (carbon: grey, oxygen: red, nitrogen: blue, sulphur: yellow). BNP is secreted by the ventricles of the heart in response to excessive stretching of heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes). The name occurred as it was originally identified in extracts of porcine brain. BNP acts with ANP (atrial natriuretic peptide) to bring about an increase in cardiac output and a decrease in blood volume and pressure through the homeostatic control of body water, sodium, potassium and fat tissue (adipose tissue).

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