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Jacob, Matthias; Rehm, Markus; Loetsch, Michael; Paul, Joern O.; Bruegger, Dirk; Welsch, Ulrich; Conzen, Peter and Becker, Bernhard F. (2007): The endothelial glycocalyx prefers albumin for evoking shear stress-induced, nitric oxide-mediated coronary dilatation. In: Journal of Vascular Research, No. 6: pp. 435-443 [PDF, 396kB]


Background: Shear stress induces coronary dilatation via production of nitric oxide ( NO). This should involve the endothelial glycocalyx ( EG). A greater effect was expected of albumin versus hydroxyethyl starch ( HES) perfusion, because albumin seals coronary leaks more effectively than HES in an EG-dependent way. Methods: Isolated hearts ( guinea pigs) were perfused at constant pressure with Krebs-Henseleit buffer augmented with 1/3 volume 5% human albumin or 6% HES ( 200/0.5 or 450/0.7). Coronary flow was also determined after EG digestion ( heparinase) and with nitro-L-arginine ( NO-L-Ag). Results: Coronary flow ( 9.50 +/- 1.09, 5.10 +/- 0.49, 4.87 +/- 1.19 and 4.15 +/- 0.09 ml/ min/ g for `albumin', `HES 200', `HES 450' and `control', respectively, n = 5-6) did not correlate with perfusate viscosity ( 0.83, 1.02, 1.24 and 0.77 cP, respectively). NO-L-Ag and heparinase diminished dilatation by albumin, but not additively. Alone NO-L-Ag suppressed coronary flow during infusion of HES 450. Electron microscopy revealed a coronary EG of 300 nm, reduced to 20 nm after heparinase. Cultured endothelial cells possessed an EG of 20 nm to begin with. Conclusions: Albumin induces greater endothelial shear stress than HES, despite lower viscosity, provided the EG contains negative groups. HES 450 causes some NO-mediated dilatation via even a rudimentary EG. Cultured endothelial cells express only a rudimentary glycocalyx, limiting their usefulness as a model system. Copyright (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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