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Connective tissue (CT) is a kind of animal tissue that supports, connects, or separates different types of tissues and organs of the body. It is one of the four general classes of animal tissues—as well as epithelial, muscle, and nervous tissues. Connective tissue is found everywhere including in the central nervous system. It is located in between other tissues.
All CT has three main components: fibers (with the exception of blood), ground substance, and cells. All are immersed in the body fluids.
Connective tissue can be broadly subdivided into connective tissue proper, special connective tissue, and series of other, less classifiable types of connective tissues. Connective tissue proper consists of loose connective tissue and dense connective tissue (which is further subdivided into dense regular and dense irregular connective tissues.) Special connective tissue consists of reticular connective tissue, adipose tissue, cartilage, bone, and blood. Other kinds of connective tissues include fibrous, elastic, and lymphoid connective tissues.
Fibroblasts are the cells responsible for the production of some CT.
Characteristics of CT:
Types of fibers:
|Collagenous fibers||Bind bones and other tissues to each other||Alpha polypeptide chains||tendon, ligament, skin, cornea, cartilage, bone, blood vessels, gut, and intervertebral disc.|
|Elastic fibers||Allow organs like arteries and lungs to recoil||elastic microfibril & elastin||extracellular matrix|
|Reticular fibers||Form a scaffolding for other cells||Type-III collagen||liver, bone marrow, and lymphatic organs|
It is estimated that 1 out of 10 people have a Connective Tissue Disorder. Various CT in CT.
For microscopic viewing, the majority of the CT staining techniques color tissue fibers in contrasting shades. Collagen may be differentially stained by any of the following techniques:
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