What are Blood Vessels?

The blood vessel's meaning is defined as a vessel that is present in the animal or human body, where the blood circulates. The vessels which carry the blood away from the heart are referred to as arteries, and their very small branches are referred to as arterioles. The very small branches that collect the blood from different parts and organs are known as venules, and they unite together to form veins, which in turn return the blood to the heart.



About the Blood Vessel

Each blood vessel's inner surface can be lined by a thin layer of cells, which are referred to as the endothelium. This specific endothelium is separated from the vessel's tough external layers with the help of basal lamina, which is an extracellular matrix produced by the surrounding epithelial cells. The endothelium plays a crucial role in controlling the substance passage, including waste products and nutrients, to and from the blood. Under certain circumstances, tissues can grow the new blood vessels, which is a process called angiogenesis. This angiogenesis plays an essential role in replacing damaged tissue and takes place under abnormal conditions, such as in progression and tumour growth.


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Structure of Blood Vessels

The veins and arteries contain three layers. The middle layer is the thicker ones in the arteries than it is present in the veins:

  • Tunica intima is the inner layer, and it is the thinnest layer. It is characterised as a single layer of flat cells (it means the plain squamous epithelium) glued by a polysaccharide intercellular matrix and surrounded by a subendothelial connective tissue-thin layer interlaced with many of the circularly organised elastic bands, which are called the internal elastic lamina. A thin membrane of elastic fibres present in the tunica intima runs parallel to the vessel.

  • Tunica media is the middle layer, and it is the thickest layer in arteries. It mainly consists of connective tissue, circularly arranged elastic fibre, polysaccharide substances, where the second and third layers are separated by the other thick elastic band, which is called the external elastic lamina. The tunica media can (especially in the case of arteries) be rich in the vascular smooth muscle that controls the vessel's caliber. Veins do not contain the external elastic lamina, but it contains only an internal one. Tunica media is thicker in the arteries rather than in the veins.

  • Tunica adventitia is the outer layer, and it is the thickest layer of veins. It is largely composed of connective tissue, with nerves supplying the vessel and food capillaries (vasa vasorum) as well as larger blood vessels.

Capillaries contain a single layer of endothelial cells with the supporting subendothelium that consists of a connective tissue and basement membrane.

When the blood vessels connect to produce a diffuse vascular supply region, it is known as an anastomosis. Anastomoses provide the critical alternative routes for blood for flowing in the case of blockages.

Leg veins have valves that prevent the backflow of the blood from being pumped against gravity by the surrounding muscles.


Structure of Blood Vessel in Humans

Also, in humans, the blood vessels' structure and function may be affected by several various conditions and diseases. A few examples can be inflammation; hypertension, where the narrowing of arterioles causes an abnormal increase in blood pressure; atherosclerosis involves the fat deposition in arterial endothelium. See Artery; capillary; vein; cardiovascular disease.


Blood Vessels Function

Let us look at the blood vessels function in a detailed manner.

Blood vessels function to transport blood. Generally, both arteries and arterioles transport the oxygenated blood from lungs to the body, its organs, also the veins and venules transport deoxygenated blood from the body to lungs. Also, the blood vessels circulate blood throughout the whole circulatory system Oxygen (which is bound to haemoglobin in the red blood cells) is the most critical nutrient, which is carried by the blood. In all the arteries apart from the pulmonary, haemoglobin is highly saturated (at a range of 95–100%) with oxygen. Apart from the pulmonary vein, in all veins, the haemoglobin saturation is about 75%. (These values are reversed in the pulmonary circulation.) In addition to oxygen-carrying, blood also carries the hormones, nutrients, and waste products for body cells.

Blood vessels do not engage actively in blood transport (also, they have no appreciable peristalsis). Blood is propelled through the arterioles and arteries through pressure, which is generated by the heartbeat. Also, blood vessels transport red blood cells that contain oxygen, which is necessary for daily activities. The amount of red blood cells present in the vessels has an effect on our health. Hematocrit tests are performed to calculate the red blood cell proportion in our blood. And, the higher proportions result in conditions such as heart disease or dehydration, while the lower proportions could lead to long-term blood loss and anaemia.

The endothelium permeability is pivotal in the nutrient release to the tissue. Also, it is increased in inflammation in response to the prostaglandins, interleukins, and histamine, which leads to most of the inflammation symptoms such as redness, swelling, warmth, and pain.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Explain the Vessel Size Functioning of the Blood Vessel?

Answer: To a degree, veins and arteries can regulate their inner diameter by the muscular layer contraction. This completely changes the blood flow to downstream organs, and it is defined by the autonomic nervous system. Also, vasoconstriction and vasodilation are used antagonistically as the methods of thermoregulation.

2. Explain the Blood Flow Functioning of the Blood Vessel?

Answer: The circulatory system uses the blood vessel channel to deliver blood to all body parts. This is the result of the right and left side of the heart working together to allow the blood to flow continuously to the lungs and other body parts. And, the oxygen-poor blood enters the heart's right side through two large veins. Also, the oxygen-rich blood from the lungs enters through the pulmonary veins, which are present on the heart's left side into the aorta and then reaches the rest of the body.

3. What is the Meaning of Blood Vessels Diseases?

Answer: Blood vessels play a crucial role in each and every medical condition virtually. For example, Cancer cannot progress unless the tumor causes angiogenesis (it means the formation of new blood vessels) to supply the metabolic demand of the malignant cells. Atherosclerosis, which is the formation of lipid lumps (it means the atheromas) in the blood vessel wall, is the most known cardiovascular disease and the main cause of death in the Western world.

4. What is Meant By Sinusoids?

Answer: Sinusoids are extremely small vessels, which are located within the spleen, bone marrow, and liver.