New and active role of the interstitium in control of interstitial fluid pressure: potential therapeutic consequences, 2003

Topics: Interstitial fluid volume, extracellular matrix, inflammation, integrins edema

Authors: H Wiig, K Rubin and R K Reed


Here we present recent data indicating that the present view of the interstitium as a passive fluid reservoir has to be revised. The connective tissue cells and extracellular matrix have a role in the control of P(if) and a fundamental role in the rapid development of edema in burns and in the initial swelling in inflammation by generating a lowering of interstitial fluid pressure. In this process, the beta1-integrin system seems to provide a common pathway by which the cells can lower as well as raise P(if). Inflammatory swelling can be reversed by endo- and exogenous substances, thereby suggesting that the connective tissue can serve as a novel target for pharmacological intervention. Furthermore, the new knowledge in interstitial physiology on means to reduce interstitial fluid pressure may be of importance for drug delivery into solid tumors, where a high P(if) limits the uptake of therapeutic agents.

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