Dictionary > Loose connective tissue

Loose connective tissue

A type of connective tissue proper that holds and binds organs together, and is characterized by its loose, multidirectional weave of extracellular fibers (e.g. reticular, collagen, and elastin) and cells loosely separated in the rich extracellular matrix
The connective tissue is an animal tissue that is comprised of specialized cells embedded in the matrix. The matrix is abundant in extracellular components (such as fibers and ground substance). The connective tissues may be classified into loose connective tissues and dense connective tissues depending on their composition.
The loose connective tissue is named after its weave appearance. The weave appearance is due to the loose, multidirectional interlace of extracellular fibers. The three types of fibers are present, i.e. collagen fibers, elastic fibers, and reticular fibers. However, the predominant type is the collagen fibers. All connective tissue cell types also occur in its matrix. However, the chief cell types are fibroblasts and macrophages. Its ground substance is distinctively amorphous.
The loose connective tissue is the most common type of connective tissue in humans and other vertebrates. It holds or binds the biological organs together. It binds the epithelial tissue to the adjacent tissues. It also surrounds the blood vessels and nerves. Another function of certain loose connective tissues is to serve as the major site of fluid and gas exchange between blood and adjacent tissues. Examples of loose connective tissue include areolar tissue and reticular connective tissue.
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