noun, plural: aortic bodies
A cluster of chemoreceptors, baroreceptors and supporting cells located in the wall of the aortic of the aortic arch near the heart, and is sensitive to changes in blood pressure and levels of blood gases (i.e. carbon dioxide and oxygen).
At times, the aortic bodies are used synonymously with paraaortic bodies. However, in strict sense, the aortic bodies involve chemoreceptors that regulate circulation and determine levels of blood oxygen concentration whereas paraaortic bodies involve chromaffin cells that synthesize and secrete catecholamines.
Word origin: from Gk aorte, the great artery, lit., something hung, carried; akin to aeírein to lift, carry.
Compare: paraaortic body.
See also: chemoreceptor, baroreceptor.