Departments of Internal Medicine and Pharmacology, Cardiovascular Center, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and
VA Medical Center, Iowa City, Iowa
The microcirculation of the brain is unique with respect to both its complexity and its heterogeneity. Beginning more than a century ago, studies by Ehrlich and others led to the development of the concept of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Later work established that cerebral blood vessels have an endothelial structure that is unique and a critically important component of the cerebral circulation. Thus, this present chapter will focus on basic characteristics of the cerebral microcirculation with an emphasis on endothelium. An overview of the role of endothelium under normal conditions will be presented, as well as examples of mechanisms that contribute to microvascular dysfunction in disease states.
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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.