Effect of glycocalyx on shear-dependent albumin uptake in endothelial cells

Akinori Ueda*, Manabu Shimomura, Mariko Ikeda, Ryuhei Yamaguchi, Kazuo Tanishita

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


The glycocalyx layer on the surface of an endothelial cell is an interface barrier for uptake of macromolecules, such as low-density lipoprotein and albumin, in the cell. The shear-dependent uptake of macromolecules thus might govern the function of the glycocalyx layer. We therefore studied the effect of glycocalyx on the shear-dependent uptake of macromolecules into endothelial cells. Bovine aorta endothelial cells were exposed to shear stress stimulus ranging from 0.5 to 3.0 Pa for 48 h. The albumin uptake into the cells was then measured using confocal laser scanning microscopy, and the microstructure of glycocalyx was observed using electron microscopy. Compared with the uptake into endothelial cells under static conditions (no shear stress stimulus), the albumin uptake at a shear stress of 1.0 Pa increased by 16% and at 3.0 Pa decreased by 27%. Compared with static conditions, the thickness of the glycocalyx layer increased by 70% and the glycocalyx charge increased by 80% at a shear stress of 3.0 Pa. The albumin uptake at a shear stress of 3.0 Pa for cells with a neutralized (no charge) glycocalyx layer was almost twice that of cells with charged layer. These findings indicate that glycocalyx influences the albumin uptake at higher shear stress and that glycocalyx properties (thickness and charge level) are involved with the shear-dependent albumin uptake process.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5 56-5
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood flow
  • Glycocalyx charge
  • Glycocalyx thickness
  • In vitro model
  • Shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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