The Pulmonary Vascular Barrier: Insights into Structure, Function, and Regulatory Mechanisms

Part of the Advances in Anatomy, Embryology and Cell Biology book series (ADVSANAT, volume 228)


Pulmonary blood vessels act as a well-regulated barrier to the flux of fluid and solutes between the lumen and the air space. Perturbation of the barrier function results in excessive fluid leak into the interstitium and alveoli, and impairs gas exchange. Recent studies provide deeper insight into the precise control mechanisms involved in the regulation of the barrier. This chapter will highlight these mechanisms and discuss the current understanding on the fluid and solute transport pathways across the vascular endothelial layer. In addition, the chapter summarizes the contributions of extra-endothelial structures such as pericytes and glycocalyx in regulating fluid flux across pulmonary vessels. The chapter concludes with an analysis on the impact of pulmonary endothelial heterogeneity and experimental models on current interpretations of barrier function and regulatory mechanisms.



The author sincerely thanks Ms. Gayathri Kaushik for the extensive editorial assistance toward preparation of this manuscript.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA

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