FAWCETT / UEHARA / SUYAMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. FAWCETT / UEHARA / SUYAMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the exterior of a human branching arteriole, a small artery. The arterioles are one of the smallest division of the arterial tree, which is supported by large, muscular, distributing arteries such as the aorta. The arterioles divide into capillaries, the small vessels that supply the tissues. The exterior layer of the arteriole wall is seen to be made up of a single layer of smooth muscle cells, arranged circumferentially. Smooth muscle cells differentiate from mesenchyme cells and have the ability to secrete supporting connective tissues such as collagen, elastin and reticular fibres.
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