Functions of Connective Tissue
Connective tissue performs the following major functions:
1.Enclosing and separating other tissues. Sheets of connective tissue form capsules around organs, such as the liver and the kidneys. Connective tissue also forms layers that separate tissues and organs. For example, connective tissues separate muscles, arteries, veins, and nerves from one another.
2.Connecting tissues to one another. Tendons are strong cables, or bands, of connective tissue that attach muscles to bone, and ligaments are connective tissue bands that hold bones together.
3.Supporting and moving parts of the body. Bones of the skeletal system provide rigid support for the body, and semirigid cartilage supports structures, such as the nose, the ears, and the surfaces of joints. Joints between bones allow one part of the body to move relative to other parts.
4.Storing compounds. Adipose tissue (fat) stores high-energy molecules, and bones store minerals, such as calcium and phosphate.
5.Cushioning and insulating. Adipose tissue cushions and protects the tissues it surrounds and provides an insulating layer beneath the skin that helps conserve heat.
6.Transporting. Blood transports gases, nutrients, enzymes, hormones, and cells of the immune system throughout the body.
7Protecting. Cells of the immune system and blood provide protection against toxins and tissue injury, as well as against microorganisms. Bones protect underlying structures from injury.