Connective tissue is mesodermal in origin and form of matrix, fibres and cells. It constitutes the extracellular ground substance and fills up the intercellular spaces between the cells.
Functions of Connective tissues:
Connective tissue is basically a binding and a packaging tissue but has many other important functions as well-
- A type of connective tissue called supportive or skeletal connective tissue produces the framework over which the body of an animal is built. It consists of bones and cartilages.
- It binds various tissues together like skin with the muscles and muscles with the bones.
- It forms sheaths around the body organs and makes a kind of packaging tissue.
- It protects the vital organs of the cranial and thoracic cavities and the deep blood vessels and nerves from mechanical injuries.
- The adipose tissue stores fat and insulate the body against heat loss.
- It provides defence against foreign particles like bacteria. The phagocytes (macrophages, monocytes and neutrophils) of leucocytes ingest the bacteria and germs and protect the body against infection of the germs.
- Fluid connective tissue, made of blood and lymph, continuously circulates in the body. It takes part in the transport of various substances between different parts of the body.
- Most of the blood cells are formed inside bone marrow which represents a part of supportive connective tissue. Others are produced in reticular tissue.
- The lymphatic tissue forms antibodies against the action of antigens and provides immunity to the body.