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Cells and Functions of Connective Tissue

Cells and Functions of Connective Tissue

Author: Aaron Mullally

- identify the various cells of connective tissue (CT)

- know that CT is the most variable and diverse tissue in the body

- know what the term -blast means

- know the various functions of the cells of CT

- know that when I use the term fibro- I am talking about proteins

- know that the primary function of CT is to connect structures together and fill gaps/spaces within the body

- know the functions of the of the other forms of CT

This packet is about the various cells and fucntions of connective tissue. Here you will learn about the various types of cells within the connective tissues of the body. After talking about the various cells you will learn about the various functions of connective tissue. Remember that cells are the functional unit of life and that the function of the tissue will be dictated by the cellular activity of the tissue.

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Overview of Connective Tissue

In the previous packet (cells & gels) you learned about the various proteins that can be found within the extracellular matrix (ECM) of connective tissues (CT). The other major identifying factor of CT you need to familiarize yourself with are the cells within CT.

The three different types of connective tissue in the body are: embryonic connective tissue, connective tissue proper, and specialized connective tissue. I am not really going to talk about embryonic connective tissue in this or any of the packets for the time being. Connective tissue proper is composed of a few different cell types. The primary cells within connective tissue proper are fibroblasts; fibro- meaning fibers and -blast meaning to build. Fibroblasts are cells that manufacture and secrete proteins into the ECM of CT proper and these fibers mixed with water forms the gels. CT proper is a widely spaced and unorganized type of tissue that leaves a lot of room for other cells to be stored and structures like blood vessels to form networks within. A good way to think of CT proper is that it's like glue.

Specialized connective tissues are functionally a step above CT proper. CT proper again is mainly used for filling spaces, networking purposes, and sticking other tissues together. Specialized CT has different functions which are determined by their cellular makeup. The types of tissues that would fall into this category would be: blood, bone, and cartilage. I will elaborate on the cell types of each specialized tissue within their specific packets.

Source: The mind of Aaron

Connective Tissue Cells and Functions

This video discusses the various cells that are found within connective tissues of the body. From there you will hear about the various functions of CT.

Slides from Presentation

Source: Self made