Bock, Walter J. Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:September 2021
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Any of the tubular channels for blood transport, of which there are three principal types: arteries, capillaries, and veins. Blood circulates through the body via blood vessels, which include the arteries, veins, and capillaries. These structures (see illustration) carry blood to and from the body's tissues and organs. The cardiovascular system, which consists of the heart and blood vessels, maintains a constant flow of blood throughout the body. In addition, the endothelium is the epithelial layer of cells lining the vessels of the circulatory system, as well as the heart. The endothelium is composed of a single layer of specialized endothelial cells that form an uninterrupted circuit so that, in health and homeostasis, the circulating blood never contacts any surface other than the endothelium See also: Angiogenesis; Blood; Cardiovascular system; Circulation; Heart (vertebrate)
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