Connective tissue

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Connective tissue is any supporting tissue in which cells are embedded in an extra-cellular matrix (a network of polysaccharides and proteins- particularly collagen)[1]. It often lies between different tissues, connecting, supporting, binding to or separating them depending on specific location and function in a multi-cellular organism.

Connective tissue can take many different structures; when calcified they become very hard like teeth or bone, then can form rope like structures with high mechanical strength forming tendons, they are also responsible for the colourless gel of the cornea in the eye[2].

Connective tissue is a structure in which cells adhere, to each other and to the extracellular matrix. This is necessary in multi-cellular organisms to provide mechanical strength but also to allow interaction, behaviour coordination, and regulation of gene expression[3].

Connective tissue is made up of cells surrounded by large amounts of extracellular matrix which is predominantly secreted by fibroblasts. Connective tissue is rich in extracellular matrix and cells are sparsely dispersed within it. The extracellular matrix in these connective tissues influences survival, development, migration, rapid reproduction of cells, their shape, and function[4].

An example of a specialised connective tissue is collagen.

References

  1. Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts, Walter (2008). Molecular Biology of the Cell. 5th ed. New York: Garland Science Taylor and Francis Group. G9.
  2. Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts, Walter (2008). Molecular Biology of the Cell. 5th ed. New York: Garland Science Taylor and Francis Group. p1178
  3. Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts, Walter (2008). Molecular Biology of the Cell. 5th ed. New York: Garland Science Taylor and Francis Group. p1131
  4. Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts, Walter (2008). Molecular Biology of the Cell. 5th ed. New York: Garland Science Taylor and Francis Group. p1178
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