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Protection against high intravascular pressure in giraffe legs

The high blood pressure in giraffe leg arteries renders giraffes vulnerable to edema. We investigated in 11 giraffes whether large and small arteries in the legs and the tight fascia protect leg capillaries. Ultrasound imaging of foreleg arteries in anesthetized giraffes and ex vivo examination revealed abrupt thickening of the arterial wall and a reduction of its internal diameter just below the elbow. At and distal to this narrowing, the artery constricted spontaneously and in response to norepinephrine and intravascular

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Structural evidence for insertion of collagen fibers to smooth muscle cells in the carotid arterial system of the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Previous anatomical studies have failed to resolve the question relating to whether or not collagen fibers, like elastic fibers, are attached to smooth muscle cells in the arterial wall. The current ultrastructural study demonstrates the insertion of collagen fibers to the sacrolemmal dark areas in the smooth muscle cells of the carotid arterial system of the giraffe. It is concluded, therefore, that this morphological linage between collagen and smooth muscle cells may facilitate transmission of the force of contraction between

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