Neutral endopeptidase is activated in cardiomyocytes in human aortic valve stenosis and heart failure

Jens Fielitz, Andreas Dendorfer, Reinhard Pregla, Elisabeth Ehler, Heinz R. Zurbrügg, Jozef Bartunek, Roland Hetzer, Vera Regitz-Zagrosek*

*Corresponding author for this work
43 Citations (Scopus)


Background - The regulation of the cardiac neutral endopeptidase (EC 24.10, NEP) that degrades bradykinin and natriuretic peptides has been investigated in human cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Methods and Results-NEP mRNA was quantitated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in left ventricular biopsies from patients with aortic valve stenosis (AS, n=19) and heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM, n=14), and control subjects with normal systolic function (CON, n=14). Left ventricular NEP mRNA content was increased 3-fold in AS (P<0.005) and 4.1-fold in DCM (P<0.002). The increase in NEP mRNA was related to the increase in end diastolic pressure in AS and DCM. In a second series, myocardial NEP enzymatic activity was determined. It increased 3.6-fold in AS (P<0.02) and 4-fold in DCM (P<0.002). NEP was localized in the myocardium by immunofluorescence microscopy and in situ PCR to myocytes and nonmyocyte areas and cells. Conclusions-Elevated cardiac NEP activity in pressure loaded and failing human hearts may increase the local degradation of bradykinin and natriuretic peptides.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)286-289
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 22.01.2002

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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