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Ann Med. 2012 Jun;44 Suppl 1:S143-8. doi: 10.3109/07853890.2011.653397. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

Two barriers for sodium in vascular endothelium?

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1
Institute of Physiology II, University of Münster, Münster, Germany. oberlei@uni-muenster.de

Abstract

Vascular endothelium plays a key role in blood pressure regulation. Recently, it has been shown that a 5% increase of plasma sodium concentration (sodium excess) stiffens endothelial cells by about 25%, leading to cellular dysfunction. Surface measurements demonstrated that the endothelial glycocalyx (eGC), an anionic biopolymer, deteriorates when sodium is elevated. In view of these results, a two-barrier model for sodium exiting the circulation across the endothelium is suggested. The first sodium barrier is the eGC which selectively buffers sodium ions with its negatively charged proteoglycans. The second sodium barrier is the endothelial plasma membrane which contains sodium channels. Sodium excess, in the presence of aldosterone, leads to eGC break-down and, in parallel, to an up-regulation of plasma membrane sodium channels. The following hypothesis is postulated: Sodium excess increases vascular sodium permeability. Under such conditions (e.g. high-sodium diet), day-by-day ingested sodium, instead of being readily buffered by the eGC and then rapidly excreted by the kidneys, is distributed in the whole body before being finally excreted. Gradually, the sodium overload damages the organism.

PMID:
22471931
PMCID:
PMC3470790
DOI:
10.3109/07853890.2011.653397
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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