[HOME] [EPITHELIAL TISSUES] [CARTILAGE AND BONE] [UNIT 1 TEST]

The types of connective tissue proper vary in the type and arrangement of the fibers included and the type of "ground substance" or matrix. The most common cell in these tissues is the fibroblast. (The nuclei stain easily.) The tissues included here are:

Areolar

Reticular

Dense (Regular)

Adipose

Elastic






AREOLAR CONNECTIVE

In the watery matrix (ground substance) observe the nuclei of fibroblasts (A), collagen fibers (B) and elastic fibers (C).

Locations: beneath the skin and around blood vessels, muscles and nerves

Functions: binds one tissue to another (as skin connects to muscle), protection and nourishment to the organs and structures it binds, and stores "body fluid"

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DENSE REGULAR CONNECTIVE

The micrograph above is at very low magnification. To the left, at a much higher magnification, the fibroblasts (A) are more clearly observed between the parallel collagenous fibers (B).

Locations: tendons and ligaments
Functions: strong flexible support

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ELASTIC CONNECTIVE

This section of aorta shows a tremendous number of elastic fibers (A). The fibroblasts are not visible. The light pink in this tissue is smooth muscle.

Location: large arteries, bronchial tubes
Function: Elastic fibers can stretch l 1/2 times their length and then recoil. These fibers will provide elasticity to tissues.

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RETICULAR CONNECTIVE

Observe that the reticular fibers (A) form a network or lattice in this spleen tissue. Do not confuse this tissue with the elastic connective tissue seen above which has fibers that are parallel.

Locations: spleen, lymph nodes, liver

Function: gives support to soft organs

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ADIPOSE

Above observe adipose at a low magnification. The cells appear empty. At the left observe that the nuclus (A) is pushed to the side of the cell giving the cell the appearance of a signet ring. Cells are filled with fat globules (B).

Locations/functions:
-- Anywhere there is an empty space in the body fat is stored as a source of energy and may provide insulation.
--The kidneys are correctly positioned and cushioned by adipose tissue.
--The eye is cushioned in the orbit by adipose.

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This page was last updated in August, 1997.

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 Author: Sherri Wick, Coordinator and Instructor - Human Physiology and Anatomy Laboratories
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Allwine Hall 211E, 554-2343
swick@cwis.unomaha.edu