<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Identify and distinguish between the types of connective tissue: proper, supportive, and fluid
  • Explain the functions of connective tissues

As may be obvious from its name, one of the major functions of connective tissue is to connect tissues and organs. Unlike epithelial tissue, which is composed of cells closely packed with little or no extracellular space in between, connective tissue cells are dispersed in a matrix    . The matrix usually includes a large amount of extracellular material produced by the connective tissue cells that are embedded within it. The matrix plays a major role in the functioning of this tissue. The major component of the matrix is a ground substance    often crisscrossed by protein fibers. This ground substance is usually a fluid, but it can also be mineralized and solid, as in bones. Connective tissues come in a vast variety of forms, yet they typically have in common three characteristic components: cells, large amounts of amorphous ground substance, and protein fibers. The amount and structure of each component correlates with the function of the tissue, from the rigid ground substance in bones supporting the body to the inclusion of specialized cells; for example, a phagocytic cell that engulfs pathogens and also rids tissue of cellular debris.

Functions of connective tissues

Connective tissues perform many functions in the body, but most importantly, they support and connect other tissues; from the connective tissue sheath that surrounds muscle cells, to the tendons that attach muscles to bones, and to the skeleton that supports the positions of the body. Protection is another major function of connective tissue, in the form of fibrous capsules and bones that protect delicate organs and, of course, the skeletal system. Specialized cells in connective tissue defend the body from microorganisms that enter the body. Transport of fluid, nutrients, waste, and chemical messengers is ensured by specialized fluid connective tissues, such as blood and lymph. Adipose cells store surplus energy in the form of fat and contribute to the thermal insulation of the body.

Embryonic connective tissue

All connective tissues derive from the mesodermal layer of the embryo (see [link] ). The first connective tissue to develop in the embryo is mesenchyme    , the stem cell line from which all connective tissues are later derived. Clusters of mesenchymal cells are scattered throughout adult tissue and supply the cells needed for replacement and repair after a connective tissue injury. A second type of embryonic connective tissue forms in the umbilical cord, called mucous connective tissue    or Wharton’s jelly. This tissue is no longer present after birth, leaving only scattered mesenchymal cells throughout the body.

Classification of connective tissues

The three broad categories of connective tissue are classified according to the characteristics of their ground substance and the types of fibers found within the matrix ( [link] ). Connective tissue proper includes loose connective tissue    and dense connective tissue    . Both tissues have a variety of cell types and protein fibers suspended in a viscous ground substance. Dense connective tissue is reinforced by bundles of fibers that provide tensile strength, elasticity, and protection. In loose connective tissue, the fibers are loosely organized, leaving large spaces in between. Supportive connective tissue —bone and cartilage—provide structure and strength to the body and protect soft tissues. A few distinct cell types and densely packed fibers in a matrix characterize these tissues. In bone, the matrix is rigid and described as calcified because of the deposited calcium salts. In fluid connective tissue    , in other words, lymph and blood, various specialized cells circulate in a watery fluid containing salts, nutrients, and dissolved proteins.

Questions & Answers

Please information on dialysis
Agbo Reply
what is the relationship between Clinical officer general, unqualified professionals and traditional healers?
Purity Reply
is that how the microscopic anatomy is
Elizabeth Reply
to understand the structures of the body. to understand how the structures of the body work . To understand how the structures of the body work and support the functions of life.
Dora Reply
procedures that removes waste from body when kidneys dont function properly..
maribel Reply
Want to join
Ordeal
dialysis
kimunya
dialysis is a process to remove extra fluid , impurities and waste product from the blood and to correct electrolytes imbalance such as sodium, potassium and calcium with the help of dialysis machine. when the kidneys can't do their job.
Kishan
What is dialisis
Friday Reply
When kidney is not functioning properly than with the help of dialysis blood filtration is occur Or we can say that it is a process through which filtration of blood is done
sonugora
dialysis is a process of removing wastes, excess fluid ,impurities from the blood and to correct electrolytes imbalance such as sodium, potassium and calcium etc with the help of dialysis machine.when the kidney can't do their job.
Kishan
describe anatomical position
Getrude Reply
The erect position of the body with the face directed forward, the arms at the side, and the palms of the hands facing forward, used as a reference in describing the relation of body parts to one another
Jean
Somebody to explain for me the duties of specialist obstetrician
Irene
Definition of an anatomy
Oppong Reply
hy oppong wat course do u offer
Desmond
b pharmacy all subject complete notes
Sayed
the study of the body's structures scientifically
Dora
what is regional anatomy ?
Jharana Reply
regional anatomy - the study of anatomy based on regions or divisions of the body and emphasizing the relations between various structures (muscles and nerves and arteries etc.) in that region.
Noor
it's the scientific study of the body's structures in a particular region of the body, to study and understand how the body's structures in that region work together and the relations between them.
Dora
what is joint
ISHQ Reply
I want to learn English
Hussein
who are you?
carina
joining the academy
Noor
what is gross anatomy ?
Jharana Reply
what is pharynx
Kishan
membrane behind the nose
Oloruntoba
Gross anatomy is the study of anatomy at the visible or (macroscopic) level
Noor
how does blood gets into the heart
Kity
through the inferior and superior vena cava
Oloruntoba
it's the anatomy of complex body structures that can be seen without the aid of a microspe.
Dora
it is the study of large body structures that can be observed without the aid of a microscope
Purity
state factors that affect sterilization (10marks)
Bright
what facilitate an embryo?
DUFITUMUREMYI Reply
what is anatomy
Danish Reply
study of internal structure of living organism
Jharana
good
Sunil
study of body's structures scientifically.
Dora
is the study structure of body
Ayan
how can i join with u
udesh
risk for hemodialysis
Kishan
abcess
Koche
infection
Koche
what are the types of membranes
Kevin Reply
How prepare a assignment on musciskeleton
sonugora Reply

Get the best Anatomy & Physiology course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Anatomy & Physiology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask