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Question Video: Recalling the Substance Released to Prevent Blood Clotting within Blood Vessels Biology

Which substance is released by body cells to prevent blood from clotting inside blood vessels?

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Video Transcript

Which substance is released by body cells to prevent blood from clotting inside blood vessels? (A) Fibrin, (B) plasma, (C) dystrophin, (D) tropomyosin, or (E) heparin.

Have you ever had an injury that caused you to bleed from the wound? If you have, you probably noticed that the bleeding stopped after a short while. Eventually, a scab can form from dried blood clots over the wound, which heals over time.

Blood clots tend to form when blood vessels are damaged. The clot plugs up the damaged blood vessel, thereby preventing the excess loss of blood. As you probably know, the flow of blood in our blood vessels is crucial to our survival, as blood supplies the cells in our organs with oxygen and nutrients and carries away their waste products.

Generally, clots will only form to plug up damaged blood vessels, but sometimes they form even when damage has not occurred. Can you imagine what might happen if a blood clot formed when it wasn’t needed? This type of clot is called a thrombus, and it can block the blood flow through the vessel, which could have serious consequences for the body’s vital organs. Without a supply of blood, the organs of the body could shut down, which might lead to permanent organ damage or even death.

Thankfully, the body has a way of preventing this from happening by producing a protein called heparin. Heparin is produced by cells in the liver and lungs, and it prevents the formation of blood clots in blood vessels. It does this by preventing the formation of fibrin, which would usually form in an insoluble fibrous mesh, trapping red blood cells and platelets, thereby strengthening the blood clots. Without fibrin, blood clots cannot form, so eventually normal blood flow will resume.

Now we know enough information to find the correct answer to our question. The substance released by body cells to prevent blood from clotting inside blood vessels is (E), heparin.

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