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Apelin (also known as APLN) is a peptide that in humans is encoded by the APLN gene. Apelin is the endogenous ligand for the G-protein-coupled APJ receptor that is expressed at the surface of some cell types. It is widely expressed in various organs such as the heart, lung, kidney, liver, adipose tissue, gastrointestinal tract, brain, adrenal glands, endothelium, and human plasma.