An individual endothelial cell has a central nucleus, is very flat (only about 1-2 μm thick), and measures some 10-20 μm in diameter. The intercellular junctions between endothelial cells overlap, thus helping to make a tight seal, for example in the wall of a blood vessel.
Endothelial cells play a key role in many phenomena to do with blood and blood vessels, including:
Some organs have highly differentiated endothelial cells for carrying out specialized filtering functions. Examples of such unique endothelial structures include the glomerulus of the kidney and the blood-brain barrier.
See also endothelium.
Related categories• CELL BIOLOGY
• ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
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