Return to the Body Tissues and Body Systems Index

Connective Tissue

Tissues are groups of cells with a common structure (form) and function (job). There are four main tissues in the body epithelium, muscle, connective tissue and nervous tissue.

Connective Tissue Functions (jobs):

  • Wraps around and cushions and protects organs
  • Stores nutrients
  • Internal support for organs
  • As tendon and ligaments, it protects joints and attaches muscles to bone and each other
  • Runs through organ capsules and in deep layers of skin giving strength

The 3 Structural Elements of Connective Tissue:

1) Ground substance gel around cells and fibers

2) Fibers provide strength, elasticity and support

3) Cells

The Special Connective Tissues

1) Cartilage

Cartilage Functions (jobs):

  • provides strength with flexibility while resisting wear, i.e. epiglottis, external ear, larynx
  • cushions and shock absorbs where bones meet, i.e. intervertebral discs, joint capsules

2) Bone

Bone Functions (jobs):

  • provides framework and strength for body
  • allows movement
  • stores calcium
  • contains blood-forming cells

3) Blood

Blood Functions (jobs):

  • transports oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nutrients around the body
  • immune response

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