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Connective tissue

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noun, plural: connective tissues

The animal tissue that chiefly originates from the embryonic mesoderm, and comprised of specialized cells embedded in the matrix abundant in extracellular components (such as fibers and ground substance, which aid in the binding between, or providing structural support to, tissues or organs)


The animal body is comprised of different tissues. There are four fundamental types of animal tissues: muscle tissues, epithelial tissues, connective tissues, and nervous tissues. The connective tissue is an animal tissue that is predominantly composed of extracellular components (such as fibers and intercellular substances). The types of fibers that form the connective tissues are collagenous fibers, elastic fibers, and reticular fibers. Some connective tissues though are not as fibrous, e.g. adipose tissues and blood. The cellular elements also vary from one connective tissue to another. These cells are fibroblasts, adipocytes, macrophages, mast cells, etc.

In adult humans and other vertebrates, the connective tissues may be classified as either connective tissue proper or special connective tissue. The connective tissue proper is further categorized into loose connective tissue and dense connective tissue. The dense connective tissue has higher proportion of collagen fibers than the loose connective tissue. As for the special connective tissues, the ground substance is relatively more dominant.

The major functions of connective tissues is to connect, support, and surround tissues and organs.


  • CT

See also:

  • tissue

Related term(s):