Overview arteries (Arteriae):
Pages with explanations are linked to the
text below the images if available! (Labelling is in German)
|Aorta Tunica media
|umbilical cord artery
|umbilical cord artery
endothelial cell 1 (human)
arteries (pulse vessels; Terminologia histologica: Arteriae) are large
vessels that carry blood away from the heart.
Ther are two kind of arteries: those of the elastic type (large
arteries close to the heart: aorta, pulmonary
trunc, brachiocephalic trunc, common- internal- and external carotid artery,
vertebral artery, common- external and internal iliac artery, femoral artery
and subclavian artery) and those of the muscular type (all other
|umbilical cord artery en-
dothelial cell 2 (human)
|elastic membrane um-
bilical cord artery (human)
The wall of an artery has the following layers
when looking form internal to external:
1. Tunica intima consists of endothelium,
the Stratum subendotheliale and the internal elastic
membrane (Membrana elastica interna).
The endothelium is a monolayer of squamous endothelial
cells (The squamous character of the endothelial cells can only
be seen under the high pressure physiologically present in living individuals.
Since preparations are usually NOT fixed and embedded under pressure endothelial
cells artificially appear cuboid or even columnar in most preparations).
The stratum subendotheliale (Lamina propria intimae) is a small
tissue layer with fine elastic webs
and intermingeled smooth muscle cells.
This layer is well developed in arteries of the elastic type
but lacks in smaller arteries of the muscular type.
The internal elastic membrane
(Membrana elastica interna), is a rather thick membrane of elastic
fibres. It is the border to the media and easily
detectable only in arteries of the muscular type.
2. Tunica media The media is comprised of
larger lamells of
elastic and less
fibres in web- like interconnection with scattered smooth
muscle cells. While in arteries of the elastic type elastic
fibres clearly dominate, arteries of the muscular type show
considerably larger amounts of smooth muscle
3. Tunica externa (adventitia) Its
external elastic membrane (Membrana elastica
externa) is the border to the meda and is obvious only in arteries
of the muscular type. The outer adventitia consists of mainly loose
tissue with many fibrocytes and free cells. The adventitia serves
for anchoring the artery to surrounding tissues and contains the
vessels responsible for nutrition of the artery (Vasa vasorum)
as well as non-myelinated
--> arteriols, blood
vessels, endothelial cells
--> Electron microscopic atlas Overview
--> Homepage of the workshop
One images was kindly provided by Prof. H. Wartenberg;
other images, page & copyright H. Jastrow