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J Intern Med. 2006 Apr;259(4):393-400.

Vasculoprotective properties of the endothelial glycocalyx: effects of fluid shear stress.

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  • 1Department of Medical Physics, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Abstract

The endothelial glycocalyx exerts a wide array of vasculoprotective effects via inhibition of coagulation and leucocyte adhesion, by contributing to the vascular permeability barrier and by mediating shear stress-induced NO release. In this review, we will focus on the relationship between fluid shear stress and the endothelial glycocalyx. We will address the hypothesis that modulation of glycocalyx synthesis by fluid shear stress may contribute to thinner glycocalyces, and therefore more vulnerable endothelium, at lesion-prone sites of arterial bifurcations. Finally, we will discuss the effects of known atherogenic stimuli such as hyperglycaemia on whole body glycocalyx volume in humans and its effect on endothelial function.

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