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4HistologyModule 4.1: Introduction to TissuesBuild Your Own GlossaryKey Terms for Module 4.1TermDefinitionEpithelial tissueTissue type composed of epithelial and a thin basal layer of extracellular matrix; it covers and lines all body surfaces and hollow organs. Connective tissueTissue characterized by extensive extracellular matrix; functions in support, protection and transport.Muscle tissueTissue specialized for contractionNervous tissueTissue that makes up the majority of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Unique extracellular matrixExtracellular matrixSubstance in a tissue outside of the cells that consists of extracellular fluid, ground substance, and protein fibers.Ground substanceAmorphous component of the extracellular matrix containing water; proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, and other molecules.Collagen fibersProtein fibers in the extracellular matrix of a tissue that are composed of the protein collagen and give a tissue tensile strength. Elastic fibersProtein fibers in the extracellular matrix of a tissue that give a tissue extensibility and elasticity.Reticular fibersThin protein fibers in the extracellular matrix of a tissue that form “nets” within organs such a spleen and lymph nodes and form supportive networks around blood vessels and nerves.Tight junctionIntercellular junctions that hold cells tightly together in a tissue and make the space between them relatively, impermeable.DesmosomeIntercellular junctions that hold cells together in a tissue to increase the tissue’s resistance to mechanical stress.