Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells and Other Periendothelial Cells of Mammalian Heart

  • Michael S. Forbes
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 34)


The mammalian heart is characterized by a vascular supply which is truly prodigious. It is curious that, of the many studies addressed to the heart, few have been directly concerned with ultrastructure of the medial or periendothelial cells of myocardial blood vessels. The term vascular smooth muscle cells comes most readily to mind when one is describing such cells, but it has become apparent that less highly developed cells occupy the walls of the heart’s microvessels. Such cells, which include entities known as primitive smooth muscle cells and pericytes, are the positional and—perhaps—the functional equivalents of the definitive smooth muscle cells of the larger myocardial blood vessels. This chapter describes the structure of true vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), and considers, in addition, the spectrum of periendothelial cells within the vasculature of the heart.


Smooth Muscle Cell Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Squirrel Monkey Mammalian Heart 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1984

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  • Michael S. Forbes

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