Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a disease of the large and intermediate-sized arteries in which fatty lesions called athero-matous plaques develop on the inside surfaces of the arterial walls. Arteriosclerosis, in contrast, is a general term that refers to thickened and stiffened blood vessels of all sizes.

One abnormality that can be measured very early in blood vessels that later become atherosclerotic is damage to the vascular endothelium. This, in turn, increases the expression of adhesion molecules on endothelial cells and decreases their ability to release nitric oxide and other substances that help prevent adhesion of macromolecules, platelets, and monocytes to the endothelium. After damage to the vascular endothelium occurs, circulating monocytes and lipids (mostly low-density lipoproteins) begin to accumulate at the site of injury (Figure 68-6A).The monocytes cross the endothelium, enter the intima of the vessel wall, and

Blood monocyte Monocyte adhered to epithelium

Monocyte migrating into intima

Damaged Adhesion endothelium molecule

Arterial intima

Damaged Adhesion endothelium molecule

Arterial intima

Receptor

Arterial lumen

Arterial lumen

Receptor

Lipoprotein particle

Growth/

inflammatory factors

Lipid droplets

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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