Starling forces that oppose filtration after tissue oncotic pressure is increased

X. Hu, R. H. Adamson, B. Liu, F. E. Curry, S. Weinbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


We tested the hypothesis that the effective oncotic force that opposes fluid filtration across the microvessel wall is the local oncotic pressure difference across the endothelial surface glycocalyx and not the global difference between the plasma and tissue. In single frog mesenteric microvessels perfused and superfused with solutions containing 50 mg/ml albumin, the effective oncotic pressure exerted across the microvessel wall was not significantly different from that measured when the perfusate alone contained albumin at 50 mg/ml. Measurements were made during transient and steady-state filtration at capillary pressures between 10 and 35 cmH2O. A cellular-level model of coupled water and solute flows in the interendothelial cleft showed water flux through small breaks in the junctional strand limited back diffusion of albumin into the protected space on the tissue side of the glycocalyx. Thus oncotic forces opposing filtration are larger than those estimated from blood-to-tissue protein concentration differences, and transcapillary fluid flux is smaller than estimated from global differences in oncotic and hydrostatic pressures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4 48-4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Interendothelial cleft
  • Surface glycocalyx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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