Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) is a cardiac hormone which affects endothelial cell function through a receptor-mediated process. Pneumonectomy is a common thoracic surgical procedure that can cause pulmonary oedema in the remaining lung. Few reports have investigated the aetiology of this complication. The aim of this study was to determine the changes in ANP concentration and expression of its receptors following pneumonectomy as a possible aetiology for postpneumonectomy pulmonary oedema (PPE). We compared plasma ANP concentrations, cGMP concentrations, and natriuretic peptide receptor (NPR)-A mRNA and NPR-C mRNA expression in rat lung 3 h after pneumonectomy (n = 5) or a sham operation (n = 5). The ANP concentrations in plasma and lung tissue in the pneumonectomy group were significantly higher than in the control group (749.5 versus 202.7 pgċml-1, P < 0.01; 33.1 versus 6.8 ngċg-1 wet tissue, P < 0.01 respectively). The level of ANP mRNA expression in the pneumonectomy group was significantly higher than in the control group (1.44 versus 0.41 relative ANP mRNA expression, P < 0.05). The concentration of cGMP and the level of NPR-A mRNA expression were not significantly different between the pneumonectomy and control groups. The level of NPR-C mRNA expression in the pneumonectomy group was significantly higher than in the control group (4.17 versus 2.19 relative NPR-C mRNA expression, P < 0.01). These findings suggest that changes in pulmonary ANP and NPR-C expression may contribute to the development of PPE in the remaining lung in the acute phase following pneumonectomy.

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