Question by Brittney: What kinds of characteristics separate tissues into different groups?
I’m doing a Histology lab and one of the questions asked this about tissues.
Answer by DMG
There is quite a bit that can be said to answer this, but I’ll try to be concise. As you probably know, the four types of tissue are epithelium, connective, nervous, and muscle. General characteristics you would look at to separate them are location, function, and cellular/molecular composition (not all of which will be exclusive to one tissue type).
Epithelial tissue lines body/organ surfaces and cavities. It functions as a barrier, and is also involved in secretion, absorption, and detection of various sensations. Some characteristics include the presence of glands (exocrine and endocrine) and various types of cell-cell junctions (such as tight junctions and desmosomes).
Connective tissue can be found throughout the body and is by far the richest tissue type in terms of its diversity. Its basic function is to provide support to the other tissue types. All connective tissue stems from cells called fibroblasts, and its makeup includes an array of cells, fibers, and extracellular matrix. Some of the more significant (for lack of a better word) connective tissues are bones, cartilage, blood, adipose, and cartilage.
Nervous tissue accounts for the brain, spinal cord, and nerves that run throughout the body. Its purposes include control of muscles, cognitive function, and transmission of impulses. One characteristic of this tissue type is the presence of synapses, across which neurotransmitters are secreted.
Muscle tissue types include skeletal, cardiac, and smooth. Skeletal muscle is attached to bones, cardiac muscle is found exclusively in the heart, and smooth muscle is associated with organs and blood vessels. They carry out different functions and vary in their physical traits.
I feel like this is probably more than you wanted to know already, so I’m going to assume you could probably find the last bit of information about the different muscle types. But if you do need more help just say so.
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