The field of endothelial cell biology has existed for more than four decades, during which time enormous advances have been made in our understanding of endothelial cell structure and function. Once regarded as only the "passive" lining of blood vessels and constituent of capillaries, the endothelium is now a well recognized participant in angio-genesis, inflammation, vasomotion, and the metabolism of bloodborne substances. Endothelial biology has made such vast progress due in part to the identification of specific blood endothelial cell (BEC) markers and growth factors/receptors that govern blood vessel development which have led to the development of the many models and therapies that are based on, and which exploited these findings. Although BEC and lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) share many structural and functional characteristics, several recently described markers, growth factors, and receptors are now known that distinguish LEC structurally, functionally, and pathophysiological^ from BEC, and in the past 5 years, our understanding of LEC biology has gone through a dramatic revival because of the discovery of these LEC markers and their unique functions.
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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.