Cardiovascular and Respiratory System Regulation and Control

Cardiovascular and Respiratory System Regulation and Control

Cardiovascular System Regulation and Control

Overall Function

  • The cardiovascular system is primarily responsible for the transport of blood and nutrients throughout the body.
  • It consists of the heart, blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries) and blood itself.

The Heart

  • The heart’s main function is to pump blood to different parts of the body, maintaining circulation.
  • Control of the heart’s rate and rhythm is managed by the Sinoatrial node (SA node) and the Atrioventricular node (AV node).

Blood Vessels

  • Arteries, veins and capillaries have distinct roles.
  • Arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart, veins carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart and capillaries allow for the exchange of gases and nutrients in the body’s tissues.


  • Blood carries nutrients, oxygen, waste products, hormones and heat around the body.
  • It is composed of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma.

Regulatory Mechanisms

  • The cardiovascular system is regulated by the autonomic nervous system through sympathetic stimulation and parasympathetic inhibition.
  • Vasoconstriction and vasodilation can alter blood flow and pressure.
  • Hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline also play a role in regulation.

Respiratory System Regulation and Control

Overall Function

  • The respiratory system is responsible for the exchange of gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) in the body.

Respiratory Tract and Lungs

  • Air enters the body through the respiratory tract which includes the nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi and bronchioles.
  • It then reaches the alveoli in the lungs where gas exchange occurs.

Mechanism of Breathing

  • Breathing is controlled by the medulla oblongata, a part of the brainstem.
  • It involves the contraction and relaxation of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles.

Gas Exchange

  • Oxygen links with haemoglobin in red blood cells to be transported to the body’s cells.
  • Carbon dioxide, a waste product, is removed from the body’s cells, transported back to the lungs and exhaled.

Regulatory Mechanisms

  • The respiratory system is regulated through a feedback system involving chemoreceptors.
  • Changes in blood pH, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels will trigger the medulla oblongata to adjust the rate and depth of breaths.

Understanding regulation in the human body is critical. The cardiovascular and respiratory systems exemplify intricate design and coordination, enabling our bodies to function optimally in varying conditions.