You are on page 1of 2

1

Bundles and Highways: More Helpful Ways to Use Connective Tissues


Connective Tissues of Bones, Muscles and Nerves & Some Viscera
While some connective tissues are structural (bone, cartilage), other connective tissues are fillers and wrappings. These tissues are the dense irregular and areolar connective tissues that serve as wrappings for bone, muscle, nerves, and sometimes provide pathways for blood vessels in organs. A spider-web appearing filler material (fascia) found between muscles is also composed of areolar connective tissue. Lets examine them. trabeculae may lack endosteum, but because bone is constantly being remodeled, some endosteum is always present. Sharpeys fibers Sharpeys fibers are anchoring extensions of collagen protein that weave directly from the collagen of the periosteum to the collagen of bone. Bone is composed of collagen and calcium phosphate crystals, hydroxyapatite. Sharpeys fibers ensures that the bone and periosteum are nearly inseparable. Pretty sharp, eh?

The Periosteum (Its a Wrap!)


Martini, p. 115, figure 5.2a The exterior connective tissue wrapping bone is called the periosteum. Recall that the periosteum is continuous with ligaments and tendons, and also serves as the pathway for blood vessels coming to and from bone. Blood vessels must course through some connective tissue. Well discuss this more when we talk about vessels later in the semester. The interior of bone also has a connective tissue affiliate. The interior lining of bone, whether within the medullary cavity or the trabeculae, is called the endosteum. The endosteum is a very thin membrane composed of a small amount of fibroblasts and numerous osteoprogenitor cells. The osteoprogenitor cells will eventually become osteblast cells, which in turn will form bone as osteocytes. Unlike the periosteum, the endosteum is only present bone that is being formed. Old

Muscle Wraps
Martini, page 246, figure 9.1 Muscle is wrapped in a cellophane-like tissue called the epimysium. This connective tissue is continuous with the fascia that separates the hypodermis from muscle tissue. Muscle cells are wrapped in bundles as well. Each bundle fuses together to form the muscle as a whole. The bundles of muscle cells are called fascicles. You have probably seen fascicles if youve ever eaten roast beef. Id tell you to check it out next time you have roast beef for dinner, but you shouldnt play with your food. Besides, any explanation of what youre doing is apt to make your company sick.

2 The connective tissue that separates the fascicles is the perimysium. Lastly, each cell is surrounded by the endomysium, a thin layer of connective tissue that separates muscle cells in skeletal muscle, heart muscle and smooth muscle. As with bone, the blood vessels course through the epimysium, perimysium and endomysium Endomysium of course is designed to carry capillaries. The capillaries provide a means to deliver oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells. Waste exchange also takes place here. They are abundant in red muscle and fewer in white muscle. Think white meat/dark meat on a turkey or chicken. Red fiber muscles are for endurance while white fibers are for short burst of strength or speed. There are pink fibers too, which perform both tasks. In general, we are more pink fibered than red and white fibered. the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. These rays of connective tissue (typically dense irregular) are also called trabeculae, though they have little resemblance to the trabeculae of bone. Anyway, theyre called trabeculae and were stuck with it. Well study these trabeculae at a more appropriate time. There are other regions of dense irregular and areolar cconnective tissues that house blood vessels as well. The dermis of the skin is rich is blood vessels, as are the connective tissues of the digestive, reproductive and urinary systems. In the digestive system, two bands of connective tissue occur. One occurs just below the epithelium of the mucosa which is called the lamina propria. The other layer is the submucosa which rests between the two smooth muscle layers, the muscularis mucosae and the first layer of the muscularis externis. Well talk about these more during the course of the semester. The take home message however is to associate dense irregular and areolar connective tissues with blood vessels. Some roots: Epi = upon Peri = around Endo = within My, myo = muscle Neur = nervous Sharpey = some dude

Nervous Tissue Wraps


Gartner & Hiatt, graphic 7-1. The connective tissues of nervous tissue parallels muscle in almost every way except for a slight variation in names. The epineurium surrounds the entire nerve, the perineurium surrounds bundles of axons (fascicles), and the endoneurium surrounds the Schwann cells that provide myelination to the axons. Again, blood vessel course through the connective tissues providing a source of oxygen and nutrients.

Connective Tissues of the Alimentary Canal and Beyond


Large to medium sized blood vessels usually follow connective tissues when traveling through organs such as