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Responsible for the transport and homeostatic distribution of oxygen, nutrients,

waste, body fluids and solutes, body heat and immune system components

1. Heart : muscular pump
2. Arteries : carry oxygenated blood away from the heart towards the tissues
3. Veins : return unoxygentaed blood from the tissues to the heart
4. Capillaries : intervene between areteries and veins allowing exchange of
substances, oxygen and waste products between the blood and the tissues
5. Lymphatic vascular system (capillaries, vessels and ducts) : collect lymph ( excess
tissue fluid), cellular debris and lymphocytes from intercellular spaces back into
circulation via the large jugular and subclavian veins

General Plan of the Vascular Walls

Composed of 3 concentric layers or tunics

Weakness in the walls of the vessels causes aneurysms that may rupture
and cause a hemorrhage

1) Tunica Intima
Innermost layer which borders the lumen
Consists of the endothelium ( simple squamous epithelium)
With a subendothelial layer of connective tissue
In capillaries: composed solely of the endothelium
In arteries : separated from the next layer by a fenestrated layer of elastin (internal
elastic lamina )

2) Tunic Media
Middle layer of concentrically arranged smooth mucle fibers
Thicker in arteries with an external elastic lamina
In the heart : the myocardium is composed of cardiac muscle fibers

3) Tunica Adventitia
Outermost layer
May contain longitudinal bundles of smooth muscles
Containing small blood vessels ( vasa vasorum ) that supply oxygen and nutrients
to cells in the vessel walls
In the heart : the epicardium ( a serosa not an adventitia) covered on its outside
by a mesothelium to reduce friction between heart and surrounding structure


A. Capillaries
Smallest vascular channel, consists of a single layer of squamous epithelia
( endothelium)
Cells of Capillaries:
a) Endothelial cells :
Converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II
Inactivates bioactive compounds & Prevents thrombus formation
Lipolysis >> destroys trigylcerides and cholesterol

b) Pericytes / Adventitial Cells :

Small mesenchymal cells
Stem cells which differentiates into a variety of cell types

Types of Capillaries:
1) Continuous Capillaries:
Smooth, non-porous; cells are attached tightly to each other
Found in muscles, nerves and brain

2) Fenestrated Capillaries :
Presence of pores which may be unobstructed or may posses a thin
Occurs in areas where rapid exchange of materials is needed as in the
kidneys, intestines and endocrine glands

3) Sinusoidal Capillaries :
With a wide lumen and follows a tortuous path
Presence of large gaps to allow cells to pass
With phagocytic cells along the endothelium
Surrounded by a discontinuous basal lamina

B. Arteries

Have a thicker tunica media than veins

With an internal and external basal lamina
In cross-section : they appear round with thick walls and small lumen compared to

C. Veins
In cross-section : often appears collapsed, with thin walls and erythrocytes in the
With thicker adventitia
Presence of valves to maintain unidirectional flow of blood


1) Endocardium
Inner layer with 3 major component:
a) Endothelium
b) Subendotheliua connective tissue b: with elastic fibers and smooth
muscle cells
c) Subendocardium : layer of areolar tissues with blood vessels, bundle
branches and Purkinje fibers

2) Myocardium
Middle layer consisting mainly of cardiac muscle fibers and carries out forceful
contractions that allow heart to serve as pump
Contains the impulse conducting system and part of the cardiac skeleton

a) Atrial cardiac muscle

Arranged in overlapping network (musculi pectinati)
Smaller compared to ventricular muscles
With granules containing atrial natriueretic factor
With less extensive t-tubule system
With more gap junctions & Conducts impulses at a higher rate
Conducts impulses at a higher rate & Contract more rhythmically
b) Ventricular cardiac muscle
Forms complex layers of cells wound helically around the ventricular cavity
causing wringing out of heart during contraction

3) Epicardium (Visceral pericardium)

Outermost tunic
Made up of serosa ( single layer of squamous mesothelial cells, thin basal
lamina and areolar connective tissue)
Reduces surface friction during contraction

Cardiac Skeleton

Dense fibrous connective tissue scaffolding to which cardiac muscles inserts

With 3 component:
a) Annuli Fibrosae : rings of dense connective tissue that surrounds and reinforce
the valve openings
b) Trigoma Fibrosae : triangular masses containing cartilage that lie between the
annuli fibrosae
c) Septum Membranaceum : dense fibrous plate that forms the superior portion of
the interventricular septum

Portions of the skeleton may become calcified during disease and aging


Has 4 major elements:

o Erythrocytes (RBC) : transport of oxygen from lungs to tissues
o Leukocyes (WBC) : defensive role
o Thrombocytes (platelets) : for blood clotting
o Plasma : proteinaceous solution in which the formed elements circulate and
carries nutrients, metabolites, antibodies, hormones, proteins of the blood
clotting system and other molecules throughout the body.

Sites of Hemopoeisis
1. Yolk sac : earliest site during fetal development
2. liver and spleen
3. fetal bone marrow : at 5 months AOG start to develop WBCs and platelets at 7
months AOG start to develop RBCs

at birth: the bone marrow production meets the normal requirements; ant greater
demand for blood the liver and spleen undergoes hemopoeisis
(extramedullary hemopoeisis)
in adults: hemopoeisis occurs only in the bone marrow of the vertebrae, ribs,
skull, pelvis and proximal femur.

Bone Marrow and Hemopoeisis

occupies space between the trabeculae of medullary bone
consists of highly branched vascular sinuses and a reticulin scaffolding
interstices packed with hemopoeitic cells:
o proerythroblasts
o basophilic erythrocytes (early normoblasts)
o polychromatic erythroblasts (intermediate normoblasts)
o orthochromic erythroblasts (late normoblasts)
o reticulocytes : matures into RBCs within 24 48 hours; forms 1% of
circulating red cells.

small (7 8 micrometer), biconcave disc which helps to maximize surface to volume

ratio facilitating oxygen oxygen
mature RBCs are anucleate and lacks cytoplasmic organelles; thus with a limited
lifespan of 120 days
in roloux formation
Anisocytosis : RBCs with great variation in size (microcytes and macrocytes ( <6
micra - >9 micras))
Nuclear fragments may remain in RBCs in disease states ( Howell-Jolly bodies or
cabot rings)


A. Agranulocytes (Mononuclear Leukocytes)

Derived from colony forming units (CFUs) to form:
i. Monoblasts >> promonocyte >> monocytes
ii. Lymphoblasts >> null cells >> lymphocytes

1. Lymphocytes
20 24% of WBCs
can be found outside of the blood vessels, grouped in lymphatic organs
or dispersed in connective tissues
never pahgocytic; assist in inactivation of foreign substance and
small with a spherical nucleus flattened on one side
with 2 major functional groups: T-cells (80% in blood) and B-cells
when stimulated by an antigen, these cells undergo blast
transformation: a series of enlargement and sequential mitotic division
resulting to daughter cells:

i. Memory cells : return to inactive state but responds more quickly

to the next encounter with the same antigen

ii. Effector Cells: activated to carry out an immune response

against the antigen; derived either from T-cell or B-cell:

1. B-cells differentiates into plasma cells which secretes

antibodies; major component of humoral immunity
2. T-cells are the major cells of the cellular immunity; they
produce lymphokines which influence the activities of
macrophages and other leukocytes involved in the
immune response; of several types:
a. Natural killer cells (NK cells or Cytotoxic
cells): secretes substances that kill other cells on
b. Helper cells : enhance acyovoty of some B-cells
and other T-cells
c. Suppressor cells : inhibits activity of some B-
cells and T-cells

2. Monocytes
Large and constitute 3-8 % of WBCs in healthy adults
Remain in circulation for less than 1 week, then migrate to other tissues and
become incorporated in the lining of sinuses
Become phagocytic and do not recirculate
Transformed into macrophages and Kuppffer cells of the liver
Nucleus is rarely spheric, kidney or horseshoe shaped and eccentrically

B) Granulocytes (Polymorphonuclear Leukocytes)

With segemented nuclei (with 2 7 lobes) and with abundant specific granule in the
Granulopoeisis occurs in the bone marrow; derived from CFUs >> Myeloblasts
(stem cells) >> Promyelocytes >> Myelocyte >> Metamyelocyte >> Band cells >>
Mature granulocytes

1) Neutrophiles
Most abundant leukocyte in the blood (60 70% of WBCs)
First line of defense against bacteria
May leave the bloodstream by amoboid movement and become phagocytic
Terminally differentiated and does not undergo mitosis like lymphocytes
About 12 micra in diameter with 2-5 lobes of the nucleus
In females : shows inactive x-xhromosome or Barr body (drumstick
With azurophillic granules which contain phagocytin which are bactericidal.

2) Eosinophiles
1 - 4% of WBCs
also leave the bloodstream via diapedesis
capable of limited phagocytosis showing a preference for antigen antibody
increased during allergic reactions and in response to parasitic infections
9 micra in diameter with usually 2 lobes
with eosinophillic granules particularly major basic proteins (MBP) which is an
antiparasitic agent.

3) Basophiles
Least numerous ( 0 1%)
May also leave vessels but with very limited amoeboid and phagocytic activity
usually found at the sites of inflammation
10 12 micra with 3 nuclear lobes twisted to form an S-shape
with dark basophilic granules containing heparin and histamine released in
response to allergic stimuli

Thrombocytes (Platelets)

smallest formed elements in the blood

disc-like cell fragments, 2 5 micra
they lack nuclei and originate by budding from large cells in the bone marrow (
Megakaryocytes) and have a lifespan of about 8 days
appear in clumps in the blood
each platelet has a peripheral hyalomere which contains marginal bundles of
microtubules that help maintain the platelets discoid shape
platelets have a central granulomere that contains few mitochondria, glycogen and
purple granules:
o dense bodies (delta granules) : which contains calcium ions, ADP, ATP
and serotonin stores
o alpha granules : contains fibrinogen, platelet-derived growth factor and other
platelet-specific proteins
o lambda granules (platelet lysosomes) : contains only lysosomal enzymes.