Reticular connective tissue

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Reticular connective tissue is a type of connective tissue.[1] It has a network of reticular fibers, made of type III collagen.[2] Reticular fibers are not unique to reticular connective tissue, but only in this type are they dominant.[3]

Reticular fibers are synthesized by special fibroblasts called reticular cells. The fibers are thin branching structures.

Location[edit]

Reticular connective tissue is found around the liver, the kidney, the spleen, and lymph nodes, as well as in bone marrow.[4]

Function[edit]

The fibers form a soft skeleton (stroma) to support the lymphoid organs (lymph node stromal cells, red bone marrow, and spleen).

Adipose tissue is held together by reticular fibers.

Staining[edit]

They can be identified in histology by staining with a heavy metal like silver or the PAS stain that stains carbohydrates.

Appearance[edit]

Reticular connective tissue resembles areolar connective tissue, but the only fibers in its matrix are reticular fibers, which form a delicate network along which fibroblasts called reticular cells lie scattered. Although reticular fibers are widely distributed in the body, reticular tissue is limited to certain sites. It forms a labyrinth-like stroma (literally, "bed or "mattress"), or internal framework, that can support many free blood cells (large lymphocytes) in lymph nodes, the spleen, and red bone marrow.

Classification[edit]

There are more than 20 types of reticular fibers. In Reticular Connective Tissue type III collagen/reticular fiber (100-150 nm in diameter) is the major fiber component. It forms the architectural framework of: liver, adipose tissue, bone marrow, spleen and basement membrane, to name a few.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ "reticular tissue" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ Strum, Judy M.; Gartner, Leslie P.; Hiatt, James L. (2007). Cell biology and histology. Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 83. ISBN 0-7817-8577-4. 
  3. ^ "Blue Histology - Connective Tissues". Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  4. ^ Martini, Frederic H. Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology. Seventh Edition. Pearson Benjamin Cummings. United States. 2006.

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