The glycocalyx and calcium dynamics in endothelial cells

Cameron M. Mortazavi, Jillian M. Hoyt, Aamir Patel, Andreia Z. Chignalia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The endothelial glycocalyx is a dynamic surface layer composed of proteoglycans, glycoproteins, and glycosaminoglycans with a key role in maintaining endothelial cell homeostasis. Its functions include the regulation of endothelial barrier permeability and stability, the transduction of mechanical forces from the vascular lumen to the vessel walls, serving as a binding site to multiple growth factors and vasoactive agents, and mediating the binding of platelets and the migration of leukocytes during an inflammatory response. Many of these processes are associated with changes in intracellular calcium levels that may occur through mechanisms that alter calcium entry in the endothelium or the release of calcium from the endoplasmic reticulum. Whether the endothelial glycocalyx can regulate calcium dynamics in endothelial cells is unresolved. Interestingly, during cardiovascular disease progression, changes in calcium dynamics are observed in association with the degradation of the glycocalyx and with changes in barrier permeability and vascular reactivity. Herein, we aim to provide a summarized overview of what is known regarding the role of the glycocalyx as a regulator of endothelial barrier and vascular reactivity during homeostatic and pathological conditions and to provide a perspective on how such processes may relate to calcium dynamics in endothelial cells, exploring a possible connection between components of the glycocalyx and calcium-sensitive pathways in the endothelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cardiovascular Glycocalyx in Health and Disease
EditorsIbra S. Fancher, Andreia Z. Chignalia
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780443191596
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Membranes
ISSN (Print)1063-5823


  • Calcium
  • Cardiovascular
  • Endothelial
  • Glycocalyx
  • Proteoglycans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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