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Types of Connective Tissue

Ø      Loose connective tissue

§         Areolar tissue

§         Adipose tissue

§         Reticular tissue

Ø      Dense connective tissue

§         Dense regular connective      tissue

§         Dense irregular connective tissue

1) Loose Areolar Tissue

•         Widely distributed, delicate, flexible, well-vascularized, flexible and not very resistant to stress

•         Embedding medium for many structures including blood vessels & nerves, Stroma of most organs

•         Chief examples are s/c tissue, mesentery, omentum

•         All the three basic components of CT are best represented

•         Two most common cell types are fibroblasts & histiocytes

•         Among fibrous components, collagen fibres are most abundant

•         The ground substance is relatively fluid like and occupies many small areas (areolae) in which no structure is seen in H&E stain

2) Adipose Tissue

  • Fat Cells
  • White or unilocular adipose tissue
  • Brown or multilocular adipose tissue
  • ‘Signet ring’
  • More proportion of cells than intercellular substance
  • Found wherever areolar tissue is located

Ø      Functions

•         Temperature regulation

•         Energy reserve

•         Mechanical

3) Reticular Tissue

•         Specialized fibroblasts, reticular cells and reticular fibers

•         Reticular cells are ‘stellate’ shaped with long processes

•         reticular tissue forms a delicate 3-D network.

•         Protoplasmic processes of reticular cells are wrapped around or extend along reticular fibers forming a ‘sponge-like’ appearance

•         Present in liver, spleen, kidney,  bone marrow and lymphoid tissue

Dense connective tissue

•         Closely packed fibers

•         Same components found in loose connective tissue, but there are fewer cells and a clear predominance of collagen fibers and lesser amount of ground substance

•         Less flexible and far more resistant to stress

•         Two types

•         Dense regular connective tissue

•         Dense irregular connective tissue

1) Dense Regular Connective Tissue

•         Dense fibers are arranged parallel to each other in the form of cords or bands

•         Examples: tendons, aponeurosis, ligaments

2) Dense Irregular Connective Tissue

•         Occurs in the from of sheets

•         The component fibers interlace to form dense network

•         Examples: dermis of skin, periosteum, perichondrium, capsules of some organs (liver, testis, lymph nodes)

Elastic Tissue

•         Composed of bundles of thick, parallel elastic fibers

•         Space between these fibers is occupied by thin collagen fibers and flattened fibroblasts

•         Very Elastic

•         Found in the lungs, walls of  arteries, bronchial tubes, ligaments of the vertebral column and in the suspensory ligament of the penis.

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