What are vascular smooth muscle cells?

What are vascular smooth muscle cells?

Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) constitute the major cells in the media layer of arteries, and are critical to maintain the integrity of the arterial wall. They participate in arterial wall remodeling, and play important roles in atherosclerosis throughout all stages of the disease.

What can smooth muscle cells line?

Smooth muscle cells line the trachea, the bronchi, and the bronchioles and are present in the vascular system.

Why can smooth muscle cells differentiate?

Vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are thought to display cellular plasticity by alternating between a quiescent ‘contractile’ differentiated phenotype and a proliferative ‘synthetic’ de-differentiated phenotype in response to induction of distinct developmental pathways or to local micro-environmental cues.

Where are vascular smooth muscle cells found?

Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are an important component of blood vessels. The cells are located in the medium part of a blood vessel, that is, tunica media , where they are oriented in a circle around the vascular lumen and form numerous layers.

How does vascular smooth muscle contract?

Vascular smooth muscle cells are highly plastic and in pathological conditions undergo phenotypic changes from a contractile to a proliferative state. Vascular smooth muscle contraction is triggered by an increase in intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i), promoting actin–myosin cross-bridge formation.

Is smooth muscle found in blood vessels?

Smooth muscle can be found in all the organ systems below: Gastrointestinal tract. Cardiovascular: Blood vessel and lymphatic vessels. Renal: Urinary bladder.

What are smooth muscles?

Smooth muscle fibers are located in walls of hollow visceral organs, except the heart, appear spindle-shaped, and are also under involuntary control. Skeletal muscle fibers occur in muscles which are attached to the skeleton. They are striated in appearance and are under voluntary control.

What is VSMC?

Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) are highly specialized cells whose principal function is contraction and regulation of blood vessel tone, blood pressure, and blood flow.

How does the body produce vasodilation in most vascular smooth muscle?

Vasodilation is the result of relaxation in smooth muscle surrounding the blood vessels. This relaxation, in turn, relies on removing the stimulus for contraction, which depends on intracellular calcium ion concentrations and is tightly linked with phosphorylation of the light chain of the contractile protein myosin.

What is the main function of the smooth muscle?

The primary function of smooth muscle is contraction. Smooth muscle consists of two types: single-unit and multi-unit. Single-unit smooth muscle consists of multiple cells connected through connexins that can become stimulated in a synchronous pattern from only one synaptic input.

Why do blood vessels have smooth muscle?

Vascular smooth muscle contracts or relaxes to change both the volume of blood vessels and the local blood pressure, a mechanism that is responsible for the redistribution of the blood within the body to areas where it is needed (i.e. areas with temporarily enhanced oxygen consumption).