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Blood vessels and the endothelium 

Blood vessels and the endothelium
Chapter:
Blood vessels and the endothelium
Author(s):

Patrick Vallance

and Keith Channon

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.160101_update_002

Update:

Nitric oxide synthase uncoupling and endothelial dysfunction. Perivascular adipose tissue adipocytokine release in vascular pathophysiology.

Updated on 29 Oct 2015. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 17 October 2017

The blood vessel wall consists of the intima, the media, and the adventitia. Not all vessels have each layer, and the layers vary in size and structure between vessels. (1) The intima is made up of a single layer of endothelial cells on a basement membrane, beneath which—depending on vessel size—there may be a layer of fibroelastic connective tissue and an internal elastic lamina that provides both structure and flexibility. Embedded in the intima are pericytes. (2) The media is made up of smooth muscle cells, elastic laminae and extracellular matrix. (3) The adventitia is the outermost part of the vessel, composed mainly of fibroelastic tissue but also containing nerves, small feeding blood vessels (the vasa vasorum), and lymph vessels. The adventitia is directly related to the surrounding perivascular adipose tissue....

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