1. The effect of a α-human atrial natriuretic peptide (1–28) (ANP) on human vasculature was investigated in vivo and in vitro. Possible involvement of vascular dopamine receptors and the renin-angiotensin system in the response to ANP was also studied in vivo.

2. Forearm blood blow was measured by venous occlusion plethysmography. Isolated human blood vessels were studied using conventional organ bath techniques.

3. ANP (0.1–1 μg/min, intra-arterially) produced a dose-dependent increase in forearm blood flow, corresponding to a 163% increase in net forearm blood flow in the study arm. This action of ANP was not antagonized by (R)-sulpiride (100 μg/min, intra-arterially), a selective vascular dopamine receptor antagonist, or 50 mg of oral captopril, an inhibitor of angiotensin-converting enzyme.

4. ANP (1 nmol/l–1 μmol/l) produced concentration-dependent relaxation of isolated human arteries, including brachial artery, but was without effect on isolated human saphenous vein.

5. ANP produces vasodilatation in vivo and relaxes isolated human arterial smooth muscle. This action of ANP may contribute to its reported hypotensive effects in vivo.

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