About this Research Topic
The natriuretic peptides (NPs) family includes a class of hormones and their receptors needed for the physiological control of cardiovascular functions. Since the discovery of the first component of the family (the atrial natriuretic peptide, ANP) forty years ago, several experimental and clinical findings have clarified the fundamental contribution of these hormones into the physiological regulation of blood pressure, of heart, vessels, brain and kidney functions. As a consequence of their protective roles, NPs are able to detect the cardiovascular damage earlier before it can be clinically diagnosed and while serving as good markers of disease prediction, they prepare the defensive reaction on time. Both structural and functional abnormalities of the NP system are involved in the pathogenesis of several cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), including hypertension and related organ damage, atherosclerosis, heart failure, and stroke. The fundamental diagnostic and prognostic role of NPs has been elucidated in all these disease conditions.
Mechanistic studies have dissected out most of the fine molecular mechanisms implicated in the physiological actions of NPs within the cardiovascular system. While the key signaling pathways mediating the NPs effects at the cellular level, upon guanylate cyclase receptor stimulation, were identified, others are still under investigation. The implications of NPs structural and functional abnormalities, in part depending from genetic alterations, in the causation of major CVDs were elucidated. Moreover, the pathophysiological and molecular achievements provided the basis for several efforts targeting NPs in order to enhance their protective role for therapeutic purposes. Currently, the application of NPs-based therapeutic approach is an expanding field and has already led to several important results in the CVDs therapeutics.
In this article collection, we aim to cover all major aspects of the physiological and pathological implications of NPs, including the novel acquisitions at the molecular/cellular level, within the cardiovascular system. The major advances of the NP-based therapeutic approach, involving specific components of the family, will be a relevant issue and it will be fully developed by experts in the field. We welcome review papers and original research on the following themes but are not limited to them:
. Implications of NPs in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular dysfunction: old and new concepts.
. New knowledge on the molecular genetic, epigenetic and signaling pathways related to the involvement of NPs in CVDs.
. NPs-based therapeutic approaches: current advances in the field and results obtained by targeting specific components of the NPs family.
Keywords: natriuretic peptides, biomarkers, molecular genetics and epigenetics, cardiovascular risk prediction, natriuretic peptides-based therapeutics
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