The removal of plasma proteins from a vascular perfusate results in increased labeling of the endothelial cell (EC) vesicles and increased permeability of the capillary wall to water and solutes. The hypothesis that albumin forms part of a molecular filter composed of a network of fibrous molecules is evaluated. The fibrous network covers the EC surface and penetrates the intercellular junctions. Albumin may simply occupy space within the matrix to increase the resistance to water flow and increase exclusion and restriction to diffusion of solutes. Electrostatic interactions between positively charged sites on albumin and negatively charged fibers may also order the fibrous network into a more selective array. In the presence of albumin, the fibrous network would determine the selectivity of the capillary wall. An alternative hypothesis, that a selective pathway is formed when albumin is adsorbed to the walls of the wide portion of the slit, is inconsistent with the area required for the diffusion of small solutes between the endothelial cells. However, the geometry of intercellular channels may partially determine the selectivity of the capillary wall when the fiber matrix containing albumin is disrupted.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - 1985|
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