Endothelial Gaps: Plasma Leakage During Inflammation


Leakage of plasma from the microvasculature is a hallmark of inflammation. In 1961, Majno and Palade advanced our understanding of this phenomenon when they showed, in a study using transmission electron microscopy, that his-tamine causes gaps to form between endothelial cells of certain blood vessels. This classic report raised numerous questions: Do gaps form at spe-cific locations in the endothelium? How large and numerous are they? How do they form? How long do they last? How do they resolve? Are they the only mechanism by which plasma leaks from inflamed blood vessels? The present précis deals with some answers, derived through several experimental approaches

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