The major function of loose connective tissue is to provide support to hold other tissues and organs in place. Loose connective tissue is “loosely”packed like its name suggests in comparison to dense connective tissue.
What’s Inside Loose Connective Tissue
Connective tissues contains a mixture of 3 types of fibers.
- Collagenous fibers: Collagenous fibers provide strength. They are made of collagen and consist of bundles of fibrils.
- Elastic fibers: Elastic fibers make tissue “stretchable” and are made of elastin.
- Reticular fibers: Reticular fibers join connective tissues to other tissues. Reticular fibers consist of one or more types of very thin collagen fibers.
These three types of fibers are combined in different levels to produced loose connective tissue with different properties. For example, if a tissue has more elastin it will be stretchy. If the tissue has more collagenous fibers it will be sturdy and strong.
Types of Loose Connective Tissue
There are three types of loose connective tissue are: Reticular, Areolar, and Adipose.
Areolar Connective Tissue
Location: Around blood vessels, nerves, and organs.
Function: Provides strength, elasticity, support and immune system protection.
Adipose Connective Tissue (Fat)
Function: Store energy, provide protection, and insulate.
Location: Around organs, subcutaneous layer(between skin and muscle)
Reticular Connective Tissue
Location: Around organs such as the liver, kidney, spleen, and lymph organs.
Function: To support and hold together organs and adipose tissue (fat).
- Loose connective tissue functions to support and hold tissues and organs in place.
- Areolar, Adipose, and Reticular Tissue are all loose connective tissues.