Connective tissue

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

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[1]), 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.[2] Connective tissue proper consists of loose connective tissue and dense connective tissue (which is further subdivided into dense regular and dense irregular connective tissues.)[3] Special connective tissue consists of reticular connective tissue, adipose tissue, cartilage, bone, and blood.[4] Other kinds of connective tissues include fibrous, elastic, and lymphoid connective tissues.[5]

Fibroblasts are the cells responsible for the production of some CT.

Type-I collagen, is present in many forms of connective tissue, and makes up about 25% of the total protein content of the mammalian body.[6]


Characteristics of CT:

  • Cells are spread through an extracellular fluid.
  • Ground substance - A clear, colorless, and viscous fluid containing glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans to fix the bodywater and the collagen fibers in the intercellular spaces. Ground substance slows the spread of pathogens.
  • Fibers. Not all types of CT are fibrous. Examples of non-fibrous CT include adipose tissue and blood. Adipose tissue gives "mechanical cushioning" to our body, among other functions.[7][8] Although there is no dense collagen network in adipose tissue, groups of adipose cells are kept together by collagen fibers and collagen sheets in order to keep fat tissue under compression in place (for example, the sole of the foot). The matrix of blood is plasma.
  • Both the ground substance and proteins (fibers) create the matrix for CT.

Types of fibers:

Tissue Purpose Components Location
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


  • Storage of energy
  • Protection of organs
  • Provision of structural framework for the body
  • Connection of body tissues
  • Connection of epithelial tissues to muscle fibres.
  • Supply of hormones all over the body
  • Nutritional support to epithelium
  • Site of defense reactions
  • Repair of body tissues

Clinical significance[edit]

It is estimated that 1 out of 10 people have a Connective Tissue Disorder.[9] Various CT in CT.

Staining of connective tissue[edit]

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:

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Connective Tissue Study Guide". 2 January 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Shostak, Stanley. "Connective Tissues". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Potter, Hugh. "The Connective Tissues". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  4. ^ Caceci, Thomas. "Connective Tisues". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  5. ^ King, David. "Histology Intro". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Di Lullo, G. A. (2002). "Mapping the Ligand-binding Sites and Disease-associated Mutations on the Most Abundant Protein in the Human, Type I Collagen". Journal of Biological Chemistry 277 (6): 4223–31. doi:10.1074/jbc.M110709200. PMID 11704682. 
  7. ^ Xu, H. et al. (2008). "Monitoring Tissue Engineering Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging". Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering 106 (6): 515–527. doi:10.1263/jbb.106.515. PMID 19134545. 
  8. ^ Laclaustra, M. et al. (2007). "Metabolic syndrome pathophysiology: The role of adiposetissue". Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 17 (2): 125–139. doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2006.10.005. PMID 17270403. 
  9. ^ EDS (2012). "EDS Awareness Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome." Acquired by (

External links[edit]