Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Microcirculation. 2008 May;15(4):283-96. doi: 10.1080/10739680701671105.

The role of the extracellular matrix in tissue distribution of macromolecules in normal and pathological tissues: potential therapeutic consequences.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.


The interstitial space is a dynamic microenvironment that consists of interstitial fluid and structural molecules of the extracellular matrix, such as glycosaminoglycans (hyaluronan and proteoglycans) and collagen. Macromolecules can distribute in the interstitium only in those spaces unoccupied by structural components, a phenomenon called interstitial exclusion. The exclusion phenomenon has direct consequences for plasma volume regulation. Early studies have assigned a major role to collagen as an excluding agent that accounts for the sterical (geometrical) exclusion. More recently, it has been shown that the contribution of negatively charged glycosaminoglycans might also be significant, resulting in an additional electrostatical exclusion effect. This charge effect may be of importance for drug uptake and suggests that either the glycosaminoglycans or the net charge of macromolecular substances to be delivered may be targeted to increase the available volume and uptake of macromolecular therapeutic agents in tumor tissue. Here, we provide an overview of the structural components of the interstitium and discuss the importance the sterical and electrostatical components have on the dynamics of transcapillary fluid exchange.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk