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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2015 May 1;308(9):F956-66. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00532.2014. Epub 2015 Feb 11.

A microscopic view on the renal endothelial glycocalyx.

Author information

1
Department of Nephrology, Einthoven laboratory for Vascular Medicine, LUMC, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands;
2
Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Section Electron Microscopy LUMC, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands;
3
Department of Nephrology, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; and.
4
Department of Physiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
5
Department of Nephrology, Einthoven laboratory for Vascular Medicine, LUMC, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands; t.rabelink@lumc.nl.

Abstract

Endothelial cells perform key homeostatic functions such as regulating blood flow, permeability, and aiding immune surveillance for pathogens. While endothelial activation serves normal physiological adaptation, maladaptation of these endothelial functions has been identified as an important effector mechanism in the progression of renal disease as well as the associated development of cardiovascular disease. The primary interface between blood and the endothelium is the glycocalyx. This carbohydrate-rich gel-like structure with its associated proteins mediates most of the regulatory functions of the endothelium. Because the endothelial glycocalyx is a highly dynamic and fragile structure ex vivo, and traditional tissue processing for staining and perfusion-fixation usually results in a partial or complete loss of the glycocalyx, studying its dimensions and function has proven to be challenging. In this review, we will outline the core functions of the glycocalyx and focus on different techniques to study structure-function relationships in kidney and vasculature.

KEYWORDS:

endothelial glycocalyx; endothelial surface layer; glomerular endothelium; imaging; renal

PMID:
25673809
DOI:
10.1152/ajprenal.00532.2014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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