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Professor Meng
Several different kinds of tissues are organised in
particular ways to form organs. From the structure view
there are two kinds of organs in human body: cavity
organs and parenchyma organs.
Cavity organs
The wall of cavity
organs can be divided
into three or four

The wall of blood vessels is made

up of three layers: tunica intima ,
tunica media and tunica adventitia.
The parenchyma organs include three parts:
① capsule: connective tissue
② parenchyma: cortex and medulla
③interstitial substance: connective tissue,
blood vessels, lymphatic vessels and nervous fibers.
Circulatory system
We need a system to transport
① Metabolism substances: the nutrition and the oxygen
to the tissues and cells, and waste products of
metabolism and carbon dioxide out of tissues and
② Hormone: distribute it to every part of our body .
Circulatory system has this function.
Closed tubular system
Cardiovascular system:
heart , arteries, veins , capillaries
Lymphatic vascular system:
lymphatic capillaries, lymphatic vessels
and lymphatic ducts
Cardiovascular System
The cardiovascular system is the major circulatory
system. It consists of the heart and of blood vessels.
The heart as a pump propels the blood into arteries.
The arteries is blood vessels that take blood from the
heart to capillaries. The smallest arteries are called
arterioles. Arterioles open into a network of
capillaries. Exchanges of various substances between
the blood and the tissues take place through the walls
of capillaries. Blood from capillaries is collected by
small venules which join to form veins. The veins
return blood to the heart.
Lymphatic vascular system
The lymphatic vascular system is the assistant
circulatory system. It begins in the lymphatic
capillaries which are closed-ended tubules that
anastomose to form lymphatic vessels. Lymphatic
vessels anastomose to form lymphatic ducts which
terminate in the large vein near the heart.

The function of lymphatic vascular system is to

return the fluid of tissue spaces to the blood.
Diagram of Circulatory system

As a pump
Veins Arteries
Lymphatic ducts
Lymphatic Waste products
vessels of metabolism
Carbon dioxide
Tissue fluid
Tissues and cells
General structure of wall of blood vessels

Except for capillaries the wall of blood vessels is

made up of three layers: tunica intima , tunica
media and tunica adventitia. blood vessel -model.ppt

Tunica intima
It consists of endothelium, subendothelial layer and
internal elastic lamina.
The inner surface of circulatory system are lined by
flattened endothelial cells. On surface view the cells
are polygonal, and elongated along the length of the
vessel. The cytoplasm is sparse.
There are some projections in the free surface of
endothelial cells. The cytoplasm contains endoplasmic
reticulum, mitochondria, pinocytic vesicles,
microfilaments and intermediate filaments.
The pinocytic vesicles are formed by invaginations of
cell membrane on both internal and external surfaces.
Sometimes the inner and outer invaginations meet to
form channels passing right across the cell. These
features are seen in situations where vessels are highly
Adjoining endothelial cells are linked by tight
junctions, and also by gap junctions.
Endothelial cells provide a smooth internal lining to
blood vessels and to the heart. Also they mediate and
monitor the bidirectional exchange of small molecules
and to restrict the transport of some macromolecules.
In addition to the functions mentioned above
endothelial cells perform a number of other functions
as follows.
①Endothelial cells are sensitive to alterations in
blood pressure, in blood flow, and in oxygen tension
in blood.
② They secrete various substances that can produce
vasodilation by influencing the tone of muscle in the
vessel wall.
③ They produce factors that control coagulation of
blood. Under normal conditions clotting inhibited.
When required, coagulation can be facilitated.
④ Under the influence of adverse stimuli endothelial
cells undergo changes that facilitate passage of
lymphocytes through the vessel wall. In acute
inflammation, endothelium allows neutrophils to pass
from blood into surrounding tissues.
⑤Under the influence of histamine (produced in
allergic states by mast cells) endothelium becomes
highly permeable, allowing proteins and fluid to
diffuse from blood into tissues. The resultant
accumulation of fluid in tissues is called oedema.
Changes in properties of endothelium described above
take place rapidly (within minutes).
Subendothelial layer
A thin layer of connection tissue containing collagen
fibers, elastic fibers and a few of smooth muscles.
Internal elastic lamina wave-liked, pink-colored band
formed by elastin.
blood vessel -model.ppt
medium-sized artery-1.ppt
Tunica media
blood vessel -model.ppt

The tunica media may consist predominantly of elastic

tissue(large artery) or of smooth muscle. Collagen fibers
and elastic fibers are usually present. But there is no
Vascular smooth muscle is present in all vessels
except capillaries and postcapillary venules. Each
muscle cells is enclosed by a basal lamina and by
connective tissue both secreted by it. There are gap
junctions between smooth muscle cells.
Tunica adventitia

This coat consists of

connective tissue in which
collagen fibres are
prominent. In arteries,
especially in middle sized
arteries, these is an external
elastic lamina between
tunica media and adventitia.
It is of interest to note that the fibrous elements and
smooth muscle in the intima and the adventitia run
longitudinally (i.e., along the length of the vessel),
whereas those in the media run circularly. The internal
and external elastic lamina are present in the form of
fenestrated sheets.
Vasa vasorum in the wall of blood vessles

The walls of large and medium

sized vessels are supplied by
vasa vasorum which are
arterioles, capillaries and
venules. These vessels supply
the adventitia and the outer part
of the media. These layers of
the vessel wall also contain
many lymphatic vessels.

Blood vessels have a rich supply by autonomic nerves

(sympathetic). The nerves are unmyelinated. Most of
the nerves are vasomotor and supply smooth muscle.
Their stimulation causes vasoconstriction in some
arteries, and vasodilatation in others.
Some myelinated sensory nerves are also present in
On the basis of the kind of tissue that predominates in
the tunica media, the arteries are often divided into
large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, small
arteries and arterioles. Elastic arteries include the aorta
and the large arteries supplying the head and neck
(carotids) and limbs (subclavian, axillary, iliac). The
remaining arteries are muscular.
Large elastic arteries
Structural features
Tunica intima The subendothelial layer is thick
and internal elastic lamina is not prominent.
Tunica media consists of 40 ~ 70 layers of elastic
laminae. Between the elastic laminae there are some
smooth muscle cells and reticular fibers,
proteoglycans and glycoproteins.
Tunica adventitia consists of connective tissue and
the external elastic lamina is not prominent.
large artery.ppt
Function Assistant pump
Although all arteries carry blood to peripheral tissues,
elastic and muscular arteries play different additional
roles. When the left ventricle of the heart contracts,
and blood enters the large elastic arteries with
considerable force, these arteries distend significantly
because of much elastic tissue in their walls. During
diastole (i.e., relaxation of the left ventricle) the walls
of the arteries come back to their original size because
of the elastic recoil of their walls. This recoil acts as an
additional force that pushes the blood into smaller
arteries. It is because of this fact that blood flows
continuously through arteries.
Medium-sized arteries( muscular arteries)
Structural features
Tunica intima The internal elastic lamina is prominent.
Tunica media consists of 10 ~ 40 layers of smooth
muscle arranged circularly. Between groups of muscle
fibres some connective tissue is present, which may
contain some elastic fibres.
Tunica adventitia consists of connective tissue and the
external elastic lamina is prominent.
medium-sized artery-1.ppt
Function Distributing arteries
The muscular arteries have the ability to alter the size of
their lumen by contraction or relaxation of smooth
muscle in their walls. Muscular arteries can, therefore,
regulate the amount of blood flowing into the regions
supplied by them.

The transition from elastic to muscular arteries is not

abrupt. In proceeding distally along the artery there is a
gradual reduction in elastic fibres and increase in smooth
muscle content in the media.
Small Arteries

Structural features
Diameter 0.5 ~ 1mm
Internal elastic lamina is present.
3 ~ 9 layers smooth muscle in the tunica media.
no external elastic lamina.
- small artery.ppt
Structural features
When traced distally, small arteries progressively
decrease in caliber till they have a diameter less than
500μm, which are called Arterioles. They have no
internal and external elastic laminae and have 1 ~ 2
layers of smooth muscle in their media. The adventitia
of arterioles is formed by a thin network of collagen

The terminal arterioles are the most thin branches of
arterioles . The initial segment of each such branch is
surrounded by a few smooth muscle cells that
constitute a precapillary sphincter. Blood flow through
any part of the capillary bed can be controlled by the
precapillary sphincter.
Carotid body and aortic body

The carotid bodies are near the bifurcation of the

common carotid artery. The carotid body consists of cell
cords and fenestrated capillaries. The cells can be
divided into typeⅠand type Ⅱcells.
The typeⅠcells contain numerous dense-core vesicles
that store dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline. Some
afferent nerve fibers end on the surface of typeⅠcells
The type Ⅱ cells are supporting cells.
carotid body.ppt
The carotid bodies as chemoreceptors are sensitive to
low oxygen tension, high carbon dioxide concentraction,
and low blood pH.

Aortic bodies located on the arch of the aorta are similar

in structure to carotid bodies and are believed to have a
similar function.
Carotid sinuses

Carotid sinuses contain baroreceptors that detect the

changes in blood pressure and relay the information to
the central nervous system. Carotid sinuses locate on the
internal carotid arteries where the wall is thinner to
allow it to respond to changes in blood pressure. The
intima and the adventitia are very rich in nerve endings.
The afferent nerve impulses are processed in the brain to
control vasoconstriction and maintain normal blood
The most common disease of arteries is atheroma, in
which the intima becomes infiltrated with fat and
collagen. Atheroma leads to narrowing of the arterial
lumen, and consequently to reduce blood flow. Damage
to endothelium can induce coagulation of blood forming
a thrombus which can completely obstruct the artery.
This leads to death of the tissue supplied. When this
happens in an artery supplying the myocardium
(coronary thrombosis) it leads to myocardial infarction
(manifesting as a heart attack). In the brain (cerebral
thrombosis) it leads to a stroke and paralysis. An artery
weakened by atheroma may undergo dilation
(aneurysm), or may even rupture.

The most thin vessels in the body.

Form the capillary plexus , the total length of
capillaries in human body: 10,000 km
The arrangement of the capillary plexus and its density
varies from tissue to tissue, the density being greatest in
tissues having high metabolic activity. Exchanges of
oxygen, carbon dioxide, fluids and various molecules
between blood and tissue take place through the walls
of the capillaries mainly.
Basement membrane
flattened with processes
i. supporting
ii. contraction
ⅲ. undifferentiated cell

Scanning electron micrograph of a capillary.

EM: Classification and Structure
Three types of capillaries

Continuous capillary

Continuous capillaries

Structure features
Continuous endothelium containing more
pinocytotic vesicles.
Tight junctions.
Continuous basement membrane.

Distribution– skin, connective tissue, muscle, lungs

and brain.

Exchange of substance through pinocytotic


Fenestrated capillaries

Structure features
Endothelial cells have fenestrae or pores. Each pore is
obliterated by a diaphragm that is thinner than a cell
Tight junction.
Continuous basement membrane.

Distribution Gastrointestinal tract, endocrine gland and

renal glomerulus.

Some big molecular substance can pass the wall of this

kind of capillaries more easily.
Discontinous sinusoid capillaries

Structural features
Enlarged capillaries, 30 ~ 40µm in diameter.
Endothelial cells have pores without diaphragms.
There are wide spaces between the cells.
Basal lamina is incomplete or absent.
Distribution Liver, spleen, hypophysis, adrenal cortex
and bone marrow.
The interchange of substances between blood and
tissue is greatly facilitated by the structure of this type
of capillaries.
Structural features

The veins can also be divided into large veins, medium-

sized veins, small veins and venules. The basic structure
of veins is similar to that of arteries. The tunica intima,
media and adventitia can be distinguished specially in
large veins. The structure of veins differs from that of
arteries in the following respects.
① The wall of a vein is distinctly thinner than that of an
artery having the same sized lumen.
middle sized A-V.ppt
②The tunica media
contains a much larger
quantity of collagen
than in arteries. The
amount of elastic
tissue or of muscle is
much less. So the wall
of a vein is easily

Medium-sized vein
③ In arteries the tunica media is usually thicker than
the adventitia. In contrast the adventitia of veins is
thicker than the media. In some large veins (e.g., the
inferior vena cava) the adventitia contains a
considerable amount of elastic and muscle fibres .
These fibres facilitate elongation and shortening of
the vena cava with respiration.
large vein.ppt
④ Valves of vein Most medium and small sized
veins contain valves that allow the flow of blood
towards the heart, but prevent its regurgitation in the
opposite direction. Typically each valve is made up
of two semilunar cusps. Each cusp is a fold of
endothelium within which there is some connective
tissue that is rich in elastic fibres.
vein valves.ppt
Valves are especially numerous in veins of the limbs,
but are absent in very small veins; in veins within the
cranial cavity, or within the vertebral canal.

The requirements of blood flow through a tissue may

vary considerably at different times. For example, a
muscle needs much more blood when engaged in
active contraction, than when relaxed. Blood flow
through intestinal villi needs to be greatest when there
is food to be absorbed. Microcirculation adjust blood
flow through capillaries to fit the tissue requirement .
What is microcirculation?
The blood circulation takes place among the
microvasculature which includes arterioles, capillaries
and postcapillary venules.
Types of microcirculation
①The usual sequence of arteriole metarteriole
capillary bed venule vein.
The interchange of substances between blood and
tissues and cells takes place throughly.
②Arteriovenous anastomoses
In many parts of the body small arteries and veins are
connected by direct channels that constitute
arteriovenous anastomoses. This helps the blood to
retune to the heart rapidly. Arteriovenous anastomoses
in the skin help in regulating body temperature, by
increasing blood flow through capillaries in warm
weather; and decreasing it in cold weather to prevent
hear loss.
microcirculation.ppt microcirculation-1.ppt
③An arterial portal system This is a special kind of
microcirculation presenting in the kidney glomerulus.
The blood flow from an afferent arteriole several
coiled capillaries (glomerulus) efferent arteriole
capillaries venule. microcirculation.ppt

④ A venous portal system This kind of

microcirculation is present in the live. The blood flow
from a venule capillaries a venule.
⑤ Thoroughfare Channels In many situations
arterioles and venules are connected by thoroughfare
channels. These channels resemble capillaries, but have
a larger caliber. Through thoroughfare channels blood
flow run a relatively direct course between the arteriole
and venule.
A thoroughfare channel and the capillaries associated
with it are sometimes referred to as a microcirculatory

The heart is a muscular pump that contracts

rhythmical, pumping the blood through the
circulatory system. There are three layers in the wall
of the heart: endocardium, myocardium and

It corresponds to the tunica intima of blood vessels and

contains three layers also.


Subendothelial layer A thin layer of delicate

connective tissue containing fibroblast, CF, EF, SM.

Subendocardial layer A layer of connective tissue

containing veins, nerves, and branches of the impulse-
conducting system of the heart(Purkinje cells).
heart wall.ppt

It is the thickest of the tunics of the heart and

consists of cardiac muscle cells arranged in layers
that surround the heart chambers in a complex spiral.
heart wall.ppt

It has been shown that atrial myocardial fibres

secrete an atrial natriuretic factor which increases
renal excretion of water, sodium and potassium, thus
reducing blood pressure.
Epicardium is the visceral layer of pericardium. It
consists of a layer of connective tissue which is covered,
on the free surface, by a layer of flattened mesothelial
cells. epicardium.ppt

It is a serous membrane in which the heart lies. It
includes two layers: visceral layer(epicardium) and
parietal layer. Between these two layers is a small
amount of fluid that facilitates the movements of the
Cardiac fibrous skeleton

At the junction of the atria and ventricles, and around

the openings of large blood vessels there are rings of
dense fibrous tissue. Similar dense fibrous tissue is also
present in the interventricular septum. These masses of
dense fibrous tissue constitute the cardiac fibrous
skeleton. The principal components are the septum
membranaceum, the trigona fibrosa, and the annuli
They give attachment to fasciculi of heart muscle.
Cardiac valve

The valves of the heart are folds of endocardium that

consist of a central core of dense fibrous connective
tissue lined on both sides by endothelial layers. The
base of the valves are attached to the annuli fibrosi of
the fibrous skeleton.
heart valve.ppt
Conducting system
The heart has a specialized system to generate a
rhythmic stimulus that is spread to the entire
myocardium. This specialized system is conducting
system of the heart which includes sinoatriol node(SA
node), atrioventricular node(AV node ) and AV
bundle. conducting system.ppt
The special cardiac muscle cells made up of conducting
system of the heart. These special cardiac muscle cells
can be divided into three types: nodal myocytes,
transitional myocytes and Purkinje fibres.
Nodal myocytes are present in the AV node and SA
node and are narrow, rounded, cylindrical or
polygonal cells with single nucleus. They are
responsible for pace-maker functions. So the nodal
myocytes are also called pacemaker cells.

Transitional myocytes are present in the nodes, and in

the stem and main branches of the AV bundle. They
are similar to cardiac myocytes except that they are
narrower. Conduction through them is slow.
Purkinje fibres are chains of cells which are united by
desmosomes. These cells have a larger diameter, and are
shorter than typical cardiac myocytes. A Purkinje fibre
has a central nucleus surrounded by clear cytoplasm
containing abundant glycogen. Myofibrils are
inconspicuous and are confined to the periphery of the
fibres. Mitochondria are numerous and the sarcoplasmic
reticulum is prominent. Purkinje cells.ppt heart wall.
Lymphatic vascular system

The lymphatic vascular system returns the extracellular

liquid (tissue fluid)to the bloodstream. When the tissue
fluid goes into the lymphatic vessels it is called lymph.
The structures of lymphatic capillaries are similar to that
of capillaries except that they have thinner walls and
larger caliber.
The lymphatic vessels have a structure similar to that of
small veins except they have thinner walls and larger
caliber. They also have more numerous internal valves.
lymphatic vessel.ppt
The lymphatic ducts is similar to that of large vein. In
the middle layer the muscle bundles are longitudinally
and circularly arranged, with longitudinal fibers
predominating. The adventitia is relatively
underdeveloped. Like the arteries and veins the large
lymphatic ducts contain vasa vasorum and a rich neural
1. Compare the structure and function of large artery
and medium-sized artery.
2. How many types of capillaries are there? Describe
their structures.
3. What are the structural differences between the
arteries and their accompanying veins?
4. What is microcirculation? Describe the typers of
microcirculation and their primary functions.
5. what is conducting system of the heart?