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A circulatory artery is a blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood away from the heart to the body's tissues and organs. Arteries play a critical role in maintaining overall health by supplying oxygenated blood to all parts of the body.
Red Blood Cells (RBCs)
Red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, are the most common type of blood cell in the human body. They are responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues and carrying carbon dioxide, a waste product, from the tissues back to the lungs to be exhaled.
The outermost layer of an artery, the tunica externa, comprises connective tissue that provides structural support to the artery. This layer contains nerves and small blood vessels that supply the artery's cells with oxygen and nutrients.
The middle layer of an artery, the tunica media, comprises smooth muscle cells and elastic fibers. This layer is responsible for the contraction and relaxation of the artery, which helps regulate blood pressure and blood flow. Abnormalities in the tunica media can contribute to hypertension, a condition characterized by high blood pressure.
The innermost layer of an artery, the tunica intima, is composed of a thin layer of endothelial cells that are in contact with the blood. According to a review article in Nature Reviews Cardiology, the endothelial cells lining the artery produce chemicals such as nitric oxide, which help maintain the artery's flexibility and prevent plaque buildup.