My name is Diane Proudfoot.
I work at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge.
And I'm going to talk to you
about vascular calcification.
I'm going to talk about where it's located,
how vascular calcification is
formed and how it's regulated.
And I'm also going to talk about the biological activity of vascular calcification.
I would like to start by describing the normal structure of a blood vessel wall.
And this is a cartoon
image of a cross section
through a blood vessel wall.
You can see that the blood vessel
is made up of three distinct layers.
These are called the intima, the media, and the adventitia.
The layer that's exposed to the blood is called the intima.
And this is covered on the lumenal side
by a single sheet of endothelial cells.
The intima provides a smooth,
non-thrombogenic surface and acts
as a permeability barrier
to cells and macromolecules.
Beneath the intima is a sheet of elastic fibers.
And this is called the internal elastic lamina.
The layer below is called the media.
And this contains vascular smooth
muscle cells and matrix proteins.
The main function of smooth muscle cells
is to contract and to dilate to achieve normal vascular tone.
The outermost layer is the adventitia.
And this is separated from the media
by the external elastic lamina.
The adventitia layer contains fibroblasts, small blood vessels,
and it also contains nerve
innervation to the blood vessel.