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Subject - cell biology
Strictly speaking, connective tissue is one of the basic tissues of the body, and consists of connective tissue cells (fibroblasts and fibrocytes) and intercellular substance. A broader definition also includes cartilage and bones among the connective tissues (supporting tissue). The extracellular matrix contains collagen, elastin, and other fibrous proteins in an amorphous base substance rich in glycosaminoglycans. These water-binding proteins are responsible for the elastic properties of cartilage, for example, while the fibroblast-synthesized collagen fibres are primarily designed for tensile strain. All connective tissue cells in the adult body, such as endothelial cells, bone and cartilage cells (osteoblasts, chondroblasts), fat cells, and fibroblasts stem from embryonic connective tissue, the mesenchyme.
There are different types of connective tissue. The most common type of connective tissue found in the body is loose collagenous (interstitial) connective tissue, which surrounds and stabilizes the organs, but is also found in muscles, tendons, mucous membranes, and gland epithelia. The structure of connective tissue, as well as the type of collagen fibres and the amount of extracellular matrix it contains vary depending on its function.