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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1996 Jul;74(7):824-33.

Consequences of alteration in capillary permeability.

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Department of Medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada.


In this review paper, three aspects related to alteration in capillary permeability, based on a series of recent observations from this laboratory, are examined. Firstly, the determinants of capillary extravasation, which include pre- and post-capillary resistances in different microcirculation networks, as well as endothelial permeability per se, are described with particular reference to the heterogeneous character of both regulatory components, reported by this and other groups. Secondly, the endothelium-interstitium relationship, responsible in part for the maintenance of the interstitial compartment physicochemical characteristics, is introduced as an important factor in regulating the traffic of vital nutrients delivered to the cell mass, and the removal of waste products from the cellular compartment to the microcirculation, for ultimate excretion. Examined in this manner, it appears that modulation of capillary permeability is essential for the maintenance of cellular life, yet the neurohumoral mechanisms involved in the control of microcirculation networks are just starting to be identified. A number of morbid conditions characterized by multiorgan involvement exhibit a common pathophysiological denominator which involves endothelium-interstitium relationships, as illustrated in experimental animal models of arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart failure, and degenerative renal diseases. Enhanced capillary permeability associated with local interstitial edema in specific organs, such as the heart and the kidney, in arterial hypertension and diabetes mellitus, as well as decreased permeability in peripheral tissues, such as the skeletal muscle and the skin, in congenital cardiomyopathy, have been documented. It is likely that alteration in the characteristics of interstitial matrix composition contributes to target organ damage in these examples of systemic disorders from different etiologies. Thirdly, the recent identification of autocoids and hormones involved in the direct and indirect control of capillary permeability has led to the development of pharmacological tools capable of modulating pre- and post-capillary vascular tonus, as well as endothelial permeability. Angiotensin II antagonism, bradykinin B1-receptor inhibition, and modulation of eicosanoid production, in particular thromboxane A2, are associated in some of the above-described disorders, with normalization of capillary permeability defects, and occasionally with improvement in organ function. The eventual development of agents capable of directly controlling the physicochemical characteristics of the interstitial matrix should be of interest, not only for preventing the development of irreversible matrix structural alterations but also for facilitating the traffic of metabolites between capillaries and the cell mass of vital organs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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