The heart is regarded as an endocrine organ as well as a pump for circulation, since atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) were discovered in cardiomyocytes to be secreted as hormones. Both ANP and BNP bind to their receptors expressed on remote organs, such as kidneys and blood vessels; therefore, the heart controls the circulation by pumping blood and by secreting endocrine peptides. Cardiomyocytes secrete other peptides besides natriuretic peptides. Although most of such cardiomyocyte-derived peptides act on the heart in autocrine/paracrine fashions, several peptides target remote organs. In this review, to overview current knowledge of endocrine properties of the heart, we focus on cardiomyocyte-derived peptides (cardiomyokines) that act on the remote organs as well as the heart. Cardiomyokines act on remote organs to regulate cardiovascular homeostasis, systemic metabolism, and inflammation. Therefore, through its endocrine function, the heart can maintain physiological conditions and prevent organ damage under pathological conditions.
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 13, 2017
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