• Inner ear;
  • perilymph;
  • atrial natriuretic peptide;
  • Level of Evidence: 2c



Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) exhibits natriuretic, diuretic, and vasorelaxant activity, maintaining fluid and electrolyte homeostasis. Although ANP is mainly synthesized and secreted in/from atrium, ANP has been found in various tissues including the rat inner ear. The aim of this study was to identify the synthesis of ANP in lateral cochlear wall tissues and the presence of ANP in perilymph using rabbits.

Study Design:

In vivo study using a rabbit model.


Expression of ANP in the rabbit inner ear tissue and the presence of perilymph were examined by radioimmunoassay and polymerase chain reaction using an ANP polyclonal antibody and rat ANP primers, respectively. Characteristics of ANP and pro-ANP present in the inner ear were also evaluated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), comparing to rat cardiac ANP and pro-ANP.


Immunoreactive ANP (ir-ANP) was found in the perilymph and lateral cochlear wall tissue of rabbits. The levels of ir-ANP in the perilymph were 5 to 16 ng/mL. Elusion profiles of HPLC showed two main peaks that were exactly matched with rat cardiac ANP and pro-ANP. Expression of ANP mRNA was also detected.


Our findings suggest that ANP and its precursor protein are synthesized in the ear tissues and secreted to perilymph. This hormone may play a role in control of water and/or ion homeostasis of the fluids in the ear that are responsible for normal hearing.