Effect of charge on microvascular permeability in early experimental sepsis in the rat.

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A key feature of sepsis is hypovolemia due to increased microvascular permeability. It has been suggested that the negative charge of albumin and of the endothelial glycocalyx is important for maintenance of the normally low permeability for albumin. Here we tested the hypothesis that charge effects contribute to the increased permeability in sepsis. Transcapillary escape rate (TER) and initial distribution volume for (125)I-labeled bovine serum albumin (BSA, isoelectric point pH 4.6) and for (131)I-labeled charge modified BSA (cBSA, average isoelectric point, pH 7.1) was measured 3h after sepsis was induced by cecal ligation and incision (CLI) (n=11) and in control animals (n=12). The importance of charge for permeability in sepsis was estimated by comparing the ratio between TER for cBSA and TER for BSA during control conditions to that after CLI. Plasma concentration of the glycocalyx component glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) was measured in separate control and CLI animals. The initial distribution volume for BSA and cBSA in control animals was 38±3ml/kg and 47±4mL/kg and decreased by 17% and 19%, respectively, following CLI. TER for BSA increased from 16.7±4.1% in the controls to 20.1±1.9% following CLI. Corresponding values for cBSA were 26.7±5.6% and 29.8±3.5%, respectively. The ratio between TER for cBSA and TER for BSA was 1.62±0.1 in the control group and 1.49±0.1 following CLI (p<0.05). Plasma GAG concentrations were higher in CLI animals than in the control group. We conclude that CLI induce hypovolemia secondary to increased microvascular permeability. Negative charge contributes to the normally low permeability of albumin and the importance of charge is decreased in early experimental sepsis. The observed charge effects are associated with CLI-induced breakdown of the glycocalyx.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-345
JournalMicrovascular Research
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
  • Anesthesiology and Intensive Care


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