The glomerular endothelial surface glycocalyx in early diabetes

The glycocalyx is a network of long-unbranched polysaccharides projecting from the surface of endothelial cells which lines blood vessels. Although the endothelial glycocalyx has been identified morphologically several decades ago and a number of physiological and pathological functions have been attributed, the exact molecular composition and function remains largely unknown. In our group we focus on the function of especially the glomerular endothelial glycocalyx in its role in the permeability barrier and binding of leukocytes and cytokine/chemokine handling, when disturbed can lead to diabetic nephropathy, responsible for the majority of end-stage renal failure and loss of kidney function in diabetes.