Gersh, Isidore Department of Animal Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Last reviewed:February 2021
- Cellular components
- Extracellular components
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
One of the four primary tissues of the body. Connective tissue (Fig. 1) provides the solid foundation required for underpinning, binding, and protecting tissues and organs of the body. Connective tissue differs from the other three tissues (epithelial, muscle, and nervous tissues) in that the extracellular components (fibers and intercellular substances) are abundant. Connective tissue cannot be sharply delimited from the blood, whose cells may give rise to connective tissue cells, and whose plasma components continually interchange with and augment the ground substance of connective tissue. Bone and cartilage are special kinds of connective tissue. Lupus erythematosus, systemic vasculitis, scleroderma, polymyositis, and Sjögren's syndrome are notable connective tissue diseases. The causes of many connective tissue diseases are unknown. See also: Blood; Connective tissue disease; Tissue
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