|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
The occurrence and extent of a circadian rhythm in the circulating concentrations of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) are still matters of controversy. Only a few data are available in humans relating the time structure of plasma ANP levels with the circadian patterns of other hormones and cardiovascular variables. In a group of hospitalized normal volunteers (six men and four women, 16-76 years old), and in a group of hospitalized hypertensives (seven men and three women, 18-76 years old), we investigated the circadian variability of ANP and its temporal relationship with the circadian rhythms of blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR), and plasma renin activity (PRA), plasma aldosterone (PA) and plasma cortisol (PC) levels, by using a chronobiological inferential statistic method. At the end of a synchronizing period of 1 week (the diet and daily schedule were standardized), the subjects underwent automatic BP and HR monitoring, and blood sampling for 24 h. A statistically significant mean circadian rhythm was demonstrated for ANP, BP, HR, PRA, PA and PC in both normal and hypertensive subjects. The mean circadian acrophase of ANP (calculated to occur at around 04.00 h) anticipated the corresponding acrophases of the other hormones; BP and HR rhythms appeared to be in antiphase with ANP rhythm, i.e. the peak of BP and HR rhythms more or less coincided with the trough in ANP rhythm. A significant increase in the daily levels (assessed by the circadian mesor) of ANP was present in hypertensive subjects when compared with normal controls. In essential hypertension the circadian rhythm of ANP was set at higher circulating levels, but otherwise it was similar to the circadian rhythm found in normals. ANP mesors correlated significantly with renin and aldosterone mesors in normal subjects but not in hypertensive patients. ANP appears to anticipate awakening in its circadian periodic rise. On the basis of the considerable acrophase asynchronism, it seems possible to exclude any causal relations between the periodic changes of ANP and the rhythmic fluctuations of the other hormones that we studied. In contrast, important relations may be hypothesized between ANP levels and BP and HR values, on the basis of their antiphase rhythms.