Role of albumin in the preservation of endothelial glycocalyx integrity and the microcirculation: a review

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Abstract

The endothelial glycocalyx comprises a complex layer of membrane-bound proteoglycans, secreted glycosaminoglycans, glycoproteins, glycolipids and bound plasma proteins such as albumin and antithrombin associated with the endothelial surface. The glycocalyx plays an important role in vascular homeostasis, regulating vascular permeability and cell adhesion, and acts as a mechanosensor for hemodynamic shear stresses; it also has antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory functions. Plasma proteins such as albumin are physiologically bound within the glycocalyx, thus contributing to stability of the layer. Albumin is the major determinant of plasma colloid osmotic pressure. In addition, albumin transports sphingosine-1-phosphate which has protective endothelial effects, acts as a free radical scavenger, and has immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects. This review examines the physiological function of the endothelial glycocalyx and the role of human albumin in preserving glycocalyx integrity and the microcirculation.

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Aldecoa, C., Llau, J. V., Nuvials, X., & Artigas, A. (2020, December 1). Role of albumin in the preservation of endothelial glycocalyx integrity and the microcirculation: a review. Annals of Intensive Care. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13613-020-00697-1

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