Author(s): Lokmic Z, Mitchell GM
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Abstract The physiological processes involved in tissue development and regeneration also include the parallel formation of blood and lymphatic vessel circulations which involves their growth, maturation and remodelling. Both vascular systems are also frequently involved in the development and progression of pathological conditions in tissues and organs. The blood vascular system circulates oxygenated blood and nutrients at appropriate physiological levels for tissue survival, and efficiently removes all waste products including carbon dioxide. This continuous network consists of the heart, aorta, arteries, arterioles, capillaries, post-capillary venules, venules, veins and vena cava. This system exists in an interstitial environment together with the lymphatic vascular system, including lymph nodes, which aids maintenance of body fluid balance and immune surveillance. To understand the process of vascular development, vascular network stability, remodelling and/or regression in any research model under any experimental conditions, it is necessary to clearly and unequivocally identify and quantify all elements of the vascular network. By utilising stereological methods in combination with cellular markers for different vascular cell components, it is possible to estimate parameters such as surface density and surface area of blood vessels, length density and length of blood vessels as well as absolute vascular volume. This review examines the current strategies used to visualise blood vessels and lymphatic vessels in two- and three-dimensions and the basic principles of vascular stereology used to quantify vascular network parameters.
This article was published in Histol Histopathol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy