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Kidney Int. 1975 Oct;8(4):212-8.

Permselectivity of the glomerular capillary wall: III. Restricted transport of polyanions.


The clearance of albumin relative to that of inulin is greatly exceeded by that of uncharged dextrans of the same effective molecular radius (approximately 36A), less than 0.01 vs. 0.20 in normal hydropenic rats. This marked difference in fractional clearances of albumin and neutral dextran suggests that some factor in addition to molecular size retards the transglomerular passage of albumin. Since albumin is a polyanion in physiological solution, we tested the effect of charge on macromolecular permeability by infusing the anionic polymer, dextran sulfate (approximately 2.3 sulfate groups per glycosyl residue), into seven normal hypropenic Munich-Wistar rats. For dextran sulfate with an effective radius of approximately 36A, the fractional clearance was reduced essentially to that found for albumin (approximately 0.01). This enhanced restriction of dextran sulfate, relative to neutral dextran, was also noted for smaller and larger dextran sulfate molecules. These differences in the transport of dextran sulfate vs. dextran suggest electrostatic repulsion of charged macromolecules by some component of the glomerular capillary wall, perhaps the negatively charged sialoprotein which coats glomerular epithelial cells. Loss of this polyanionic coat, as has been reported to occur in proteinuric disorders, might thereby account for the enhanced transmural passage of albumin.

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