Renal glomerular permselectivity and vascular endothelium

Biomed Pharmacother. Jan-Feb 2005;59(1-2):30-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2004.06.003. Epub 2005 Jan 20.


The glomerular barrier is the kidney's physical block to the unrestricted flow of molecules from the plasma into the urinary space. Its exquisite selectivity allows solutes and water in the glomerular capillaries to pass through but it prevents the bulk of plasma proteins, most notably albumin, from crossing. Classically the barrier consists of three components: glomerular endothelium, glomerular basement membrane and glomerular epithelium (podocytes) with slit diaphragm. A lot of investigations are experimental but they are sufficient to show the pivotal role of endothelium in glomerular proteinuria. In this study the author discuss glomerular endothelium with particular emphasis on the barrier presumed to be imparted by endothelium-glomerular basement membrane-podocyte interactions. By specialized glomerular endothelial structure (caveolae, tight junctions, endothelium glycocalyx) and by circulating permeability factors (albumin, orosomucoid, apolipoproteins, Amadori's products). Concluding remarks underline the significance to study the glomerular vascular endothelial dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Glomerulus / metabolism
  • Kidney Glomerulus / physiology*
  • Permeability