Microvessels (MVs) control oxygenation of tissues, the removal of metabolic waste products (including carbon dioxide), blood pressure, inflammatory responses, permeability to macromolecules, and hemostasis. Since damage to the MV system can have serious consequences, it is essential that the repair of the MV system following injury be rapid and complete. MVs therefore possess the capacity to rapidly regenerate and reestablish an integrated microcirculation by means of angiogenesis. This process is mediated principally by the proliferation, migration, and organization of endothelial cells into new microvessels. Infection or surgery can result in loss of the endothelium without breaching the MV wall. Thus, endothelial regrowth is another critical aspect of MV repair. In this chapter, we will consider the different types of injury that MVs can sustain, the exogenous triggers that promote repair, the role of hypoxia, oxygen tension, and reactive oxygen species, and the expression of factors that perpetuate repair.
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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.