The role of the glycocalyx of arterial resistance vessels in regulating blood flow in vivo is not fully understood. Therefore, the effect of glycocalyx damage using two separate compounds, hyaluronidase and N-Formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP), was evaluated in the iliac artery vascular bed of the anaesthetised pig. Blood flow and pressure were measured in the iliac, an adjustable snare was applied to the iliac above the pressure and flow measurement site to induce step decreases (3 occlusions at 3-4 min intervals were performed for each infusion) in blood flow, and hence iliac pressure, and vascular conductance (flow/pressure) was calculated. Saline, hyaluronidase (14 and 28 mu g/ml/min), and fMLP (1 mu M/min) were infused separately, downstream of the adjustable snare and their effect on arterial conductance assessed. Hyaluronidase at the higher infusion rate and fMLP both caused a reduction in arterial conductance, and hence an increase in blood flow resistance. In conclusion, the results show that glycocalyx damage causes an increase in resistance to blood flow in the iliac artery vascular bed.