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Other Terms: Connective tissue, Textus connectivus, Tejido fino conectivo, Bindegewebe
Connective tissue is the most abundant of the primary tissue types. Like epithelial tissue, connective tissue is widespread throughout the body, but its distribution within the different organs varies. In sharp contrast to epithelial tissue, which covers the body surface and lines its internal cavities and hollow organs, connective tissue is never exposed to the external environment. Depending on the type of connective tissue and its location, it (1) interconnects and fills the spaces between other tissues and organs; (2) protects, cushions, and provides structural support for other tissues and organs; (3) stores energy reserves in the form of neutral fats; and (4) transports substances throughout the body. Connective tissues encompass a wide variety of tissues in the body. For example, tendon, bone, fat, cartilage, and blood are all connective tissue structures. The principal feature of connective tissues that greatly distinguishes them from other tissues and is used to group them into a single large category of quite varied tissues is the fact that each contains a large amount of extracellular material, most of which is produced by the cells. This extracellular material creates wide spacing of the cells. Additionally, the extracellular material can vary greatly, leading to a diverse family of tissues with specialized properties characterized by the extracellular content.
Tejido fino conectivo