Artery, light micrograph

Artery, light micrograph


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Light microscopy of a small muscular artery a common type among arteries. Starting innermost the artery wall comprises a folded endothelium and internal elastic layer/lamina (part of the tunica intima), a wider smooth muscle layer (tunica media, red nuclei) and an outermost connective tissue layer (green) called the tunica adventitia. An external elastic lamina is located between the tunica media and adventitia. Muscular arteries serve to distribute and maintain blood flow to organs and tissues using their smooth muscle to control vessel diameter. Magnification x500 when printed at 10 cm wide.

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