Connective Tissue

Connective Tissue - which are the most numerous and produce...

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Connective Tissue Connective tissue is the most abundant and variable of the four tissue types. Connective tissue is characterized by widely spaced cells separated by lots of protein fibers and ground substance. Connective tissue connects structures to each other (ligaments and tendons), gives physical support and protection (bones), provides immunity (white blood cells), stores energy (adipose) and transports materials (blood). The ground substance surrounding connective tissue cells consists of large molecules called proteoglycans and adhesive glycoproteins as well as fibrous proteins. This material can be hard and mineralized (like that found in bones), rubbery (like tendons) or fluid (like blood). Reflecting the varied functions of connective tissues, there are several types of cells found within connective tissue. Some examples are fibroblasts
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Unformatted text preview: which are the most numerous and produce the protein fibers and ground substance of connective tissues. White blood cells function in immune protection while mast cells are found in the skin and secrete heparin and histamine . Adipocytes store triglycerides . Several other specific cell types will be discussed later. The two major proteins found in connective tissue are collagen and elastin . Collagen fibers are tough yet flexible and are resistant to stretch. These proteins are prominent in tendons and ligaments. Thin glycoprotein-coated collagen fibers form the framework of some lymphatic organs and are called reticular fibers. The protein elastin forms thin branching fibers that stretch and recoil like a rubber band. These fibers give skin, lungs and arteries the ability to stretch and bounce back....
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