MICROSCAPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICROSCAPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Arteriole. Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a cross-section through an arteriole. This is the smallest in diameter of the arterial blood vessels types. Arterioles, which help to regulate blood flow, consist of one or more layers of smooth muscle cells (the tunica media). Within the blood vessel lumen (centre) are sectioned views of red blood cells (white). Contraction of the arteriole causes the lumen-facing endothelial cells to protrude into the lumen. Normally, in a living arteriole, these cells are flat and slender. Magnification: x1000 when printed at 10 centimetres tall.
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