Anatomy And Physiology

Areolar Connective Tissue

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Connective tissue is the most abundantly found tissue in the human body.  This tissue provides a link between various parts of the body and is very essential for the human body to properly function. It encompasses all organs and body cavities.  One particular type of connective tissue, areolar connective tissue, is the most prevalent connective tissue in the body.  Its main functions are to attach the skin to the underlying tissue, fill empty spaces in-between organs and hold them in place, surround and support blood vessels, and cushion and protect organs and other parts of the body. 

Areolar connective tissue is vital to body systems and protects internal organs from the everyday wear and tear of human life.  It is crucial that it is in place in the body so organs do not bump into one another and are able to function optimally.  This tissue is named what it is because of its appearance.  There are many small areas or potential spaces within this tissue. 

Components of areolar connective tissue include, a mast cell, collogenous fibers, elastic fibers, fibroblasts, and lymphocytes. 

The mast cell in areolar connective tissue is a large cell that controls operations.  It contains a rather small, sphere-shaped nucleus and a greater amount of cytoplasm than is probably actually needed.  This cytoplasm contains coarse granules.  This cell produces heparin and histamine, both important body materials.  Heparin works to defend the body against bacteria and other foreign materials that try to invade while histamine is a key component of the immune system and the central regulator for all activity in the abdomen. 

The collogenous fibers found in this particular tissue are both coarse and interlacing and run in all directions.  The elastic fibers are distinguished from the collogenous fibers in that they are smaller and sleeker, are irregularly dispersed throughout the areolar tissue, and together form a system of branching fibers.

The fibroblasts are the most widely found cell type found in areolar connective tissue.  They are larger than other types of nuclei found in other varieties of connective tissue and their nuclei are generally egg-shaped.  Their primary purposes are to manufacture and deposit collagen. 

Lymphocytes are not as abundantly found as fibroblasts and their nuclei is smaller than fibroblast nuclei.  In addition, their nuclei is rounder with deeper coloring. 

To recap, areolar connective tissue is found all over the body and is very necessary in optimal organ and overall body function.  It is very intricate and performs many vital functions. 

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