Connective tissue

  • Created by: Saoirse
  • Created on: 22-10-14 16:19


    • Provides support
    • Strength
    • Protection
    • Insulation and metabolites

CT has a good nerve supply and is highly vascular (except cartilage and tendons). Blood vessels supply nutrients and oxygen and remove waste from tissues. CT supplies nutrients to overlying tissue.


    • Has a flexible matrix - ground substance
    • Large star shaped cell - fibroblasts
    • Fibroblasts produce fibres: collagen, elastic and reticular
    • Different CT have different cells

    • Mesenchymal cells - embryonic stem cells that give rise to other CT cells
    • Fibroblasts - secrete fibres and ground substance
    • Macrophages - phagocytose bacteria and cell debris 
    • Plasma cells - secrete antibodies that neutralise forgein material
    • Mast cells - secrete histamine and are involved in inflammation
    • Adipocytes - fat filled cells
    • White blood cells (neutrophils and eosinophils) - can migrate into CT during infection or allergic response

There are 5 types of connective tissues:

    • Embryonic
    • Proper
    • Cartilage
    • Bone (osseous)
    • Blood


    • Has a uniformed appearance - mesnchyme
    • Jelly like matric with irregular shaped menchymal cells and reticular fibres
    • Important in tissue interaction during development
    • Gives rise to all other types of CT
    • Found only in umbilical cord


  • Loose (areolar)
    • Rich in blood vessels, nerves, fibroblasts, macrophages, plasma cells, adipocytes, mast cells and a few white blood cells
    • Has collagen, reticular and elastic fibres for strength, elasticity and support
    • Found: joining skin to muscles
  • Dense regular
    • Shiny white CT with lots of densely packed collagen fibres and fibroblasts
    • very strong - fibres run parallel to the direction of force
    • Found: tendons and ligaments
  • Dense


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