BACKGROUND: The constituents of vascular endothelial glycocalyx, such as syndecan-1 and heparan sulphate (HS), can be detected in the plasma of patients and animals with septic shock. However, the dynamics of glycocalyx degradation and its association with inflammation remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the association between the biomarkers of acute endothelial glycocalyx degradation and inflammatory factors. We also evaluated the effect of unfractionated heparin (UFH) on glycocalyx shedding in a canine septic shock model.
METHODS: Twenty adult beagle dogs were randomly allocated to one of the following four groups (n = 5): (1) a sham group; (2) a shock group [3.5 × 10(8) colony-forming unit (cfu) Escherichia coli (E. coli)/kg]; (3) a basic therapy group (sensitive antibiotics and 0.9% saline, 10 ml/kg/h); and (4) a heparin group (40 units/kg/h UFH plus basic therapy). After the onset of septic shock, systemic haemodynamic indices were measured. Endothelial glycocalyx degradation markers (i.e., syndecan-1, HS) and inflammatory factors [i.e., interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α], platelet count and activated partial thromboplastin time were measured at various time points.
RESULTS: A lethal dose of E. coli induced a progressive septic shock model. We observed increased syndecan-1 and HS levels, which correlated with IL-6 and TNF-α in the septic shock model. The glycocalyx shedding was reduced by UFH, which might be regulated by the inhibition of inflammatory factors.
CONCLUSIONS: A therapeutic dose of UFH can protect glycocalyx from shedding by inhibiting inflammation. Additional studies with larger sample sizes are needed to confirm our conclusions.
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