BACKGROUND: Three peptides consisting of amino acids 1-30, 31-67, and 79-98 of the 126-amino acid atrial natriuretic factor prohormone (proANF), which have blood pressure-lowering, diuretic, natriuretic, and/or kaliuretic properties in animals, were investigated to determine if they have similar properties in humans. METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirty-six healthy, normotensive human volunteers (18 men and 18 women, ages 20 to 58 years) were divided into six similar groups based on age, sex, weight, blood pressure, and heart rate. After a 60-minute baseline period, 100 ng of proANFs 1-30, 31-67, 79-98, or ANF/kg body wt per minute was given intravenously for 60 minutes followed by a 3-hour postinfusion data collection period. Each of the atrial natriuretic peptides decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressures (P < .05), with proANF 31-67 causing the largest decrease. Urine flow increased 4- to 12-fold and was still significantly increased (P < .01) for 2 to 3 hours after stopping the respective infusions of proANFs 1-30, 31-67, and 79-98. Atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) increased urine flow 4- to 11-fold but by 2 hours after infusion was significantly increased in only 1 of 6 subjects. Sodium excretion increased 3- to 8-fold, 3- to 6-fold, 0- to 2-fold (NS), and 3- to 11-fold, respectively, with proANFs 1-30, 31-67, 79-98, and ANF. Natriuretic effects of proANFs 1-30 and 31-67 were significantly prolonged (P < .001) compared with ANF. ProANFs 1-30, 31-67, 79-98, and ANF increased potassium excretion 2- to 3-fold, 0-fold, 3- to 4-fold, and 2-fold, respectively. High-performance gel permeation chromatography followed by the respective radioimmunoassays revealed that proANFs 1-30, 31-67, 79-98, and 68-98, as well as ANF circulate as distinct peptides. CONCLUSIONS: ProANFs 1-30, 31-67, and 79-98, as well as ANF have significant blood pressure-lowering and diuretic properties. ProANFs 1-30 and 31-67 also have natriuretic properties in humans that are significantly (P < .001) prolonged compared with ANF. ProANF 79-98, although not possessing any natriuretic property, is the strongest stimulator of potassium excretion of the four atrial natriuretic peptides.