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Connective Tissue

Functions: bind together and support, protect, store energy, and transpo 


Characteristics of connective tissues

  • vascular (exceptiion is cartialage)
  • widely scattered cells in the matrix
  • ground substance (binds cells together and detrmines charteristics of tissue)
  • protein fibers
  • nerve supply
  • no free surface
  • can regenrate


Protein fibers include:

  • ​Collagen Fibers (tough, flexible)
  • elastic fibers (elasticity & strength)
  • reticular fibers (networking fibers)


Why is importnant that some cells have a watery matrix, while some have a hard matrix?

The matrix in blood is very watery and this important because blood needs to be fluid so that it can move throught out the body. 


What are the components of the matrix

Ground substance & protein fibers. Often the ground substance will also include hyaluronic acid.

Cells that are scattered in the matrix include (fibroblasts,macrophages,mast cells,adipocytes)


Cells & functions of the cells scattered in the matrix?

  • Fibroblasts (produce fibers)
  • macrophages(perform phagocytosis)
  • adipocytes(store fat)
  • mast cells(release histamines,cause inflammation) 


Matrix =

ground substance + fibers



Embryonic connective tissue:


  • typically found in cord blood,bone marrow,peripheal blood
  • gives rise to most of the body's connective tissues
  • scatterd cells are mesenchymal cells
  • Matrix=very fine protein filaments


Loose connective tissues 

The fibers are loose or scattered. 

Types of loose connective tissues

  • areolar connective tissue
  • adipose tissue
  • reticular tissue


areolar connective tissue

  • found under the basement membrane of epithelial tissue. Often referred to as the packing material of the body. 
  • loose padding and support
  • scattered cells include:fibroblasts, mast cells, macrophages, adipocytes
  • Matrix includes:hyaluronic acid, collagen, elastic, reticular fibers


Adipose tissue 

  • subcutaneous tissue
  • sorrounds organs
  • found in the same locations as areolar tissue white & brown fat 
  • major cells are adipocytes
  • matrix is the same as arolar tissue 


Reticular connective tissue

  • found in spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow and liver
  • major cells are reticular
  • network of reticular fibers gives these organs support
  • matrix is made up of network of reticular fibers w/ ground substance. 


Dense connective tissues 

Fibers densely populate this tissue making it extremly strong.


Charcteristics of dense regular tissues

  • collagen fibers run parrallel
  • found in tendons(muscle to bone), ligaments (bone to bone), aponeuroses (flat tendons)
  • strength in one direction
  • fibroblasts
  • matrix = almost entirely collagen fibers 


Why is this type of tissue especially suited for tendons and ligaments?

Many of the strands are all running in the same direction, this increases the strength of stretch where the same movement is repeated. 


Dense irregular connective tissue

collagen fibers run in many directions


Where is dense irregular connective tissue found?

  • found in the valves of the heart, dermis of skin,periosteum,perichondrium,joint capsules
  • strength in many directions
  • fibroblast
  • matrix = collagen fibers running in many directions


what advantage does "irregular tissue" have at these locations ?

Can provided support in many directions 


elastic connective tissue

  • elastic arteries, true vocal cords
  • stretching and recoiling
  • fibroblasts
  • Matrix = predominantly elastic fibers



tissue that is resistant to stress


Characteristics of Cartilage

  • avascualr
  • no nerves
  • sorrounded by perichondrium(dense irregular tissue that sorrounds cartilage)


How does cartilage get nutriens w/ no blood supply?

Through the perichondrium


Major type of cartilage H

Hyaline cartilage 

  • found in the nose, costal cartilage,trachea,embyonic skeleton,articular cartilage(ends of long bones)
  • cushioning
  • chondrocytes (allows for diffusion of nutrients) in lacunae (space that looks like abubble holding multiple chondrocytes)
  • ground substance = chondroiton sulfate, glucosamine



Major type of cartilage F

Fibrous Cartilage

  • ​found in the menisci of the knee, inverterbral discs, symphsis pubis
  • function-strength and durabilty
  • chndrocytes in lacunae
  • Matrix = dense collagen fibers


elastic cartilage

  • found in the auricle (ear), epiglottis
  • flexible
  • chondrocytes in the lacunae
  • maxtrix = fibers for elasticity


Osseous tissue

  • found on shaft of long bones, outside portions of flat bones 
  • strength and flexibility 
  • osteoblasts and osteocytes in lacunae


What is the relationship between an osteoblasts & osteocyte ?

osteoblasts makes bone, osteocyte maintains bone