Tissue is a group of cells that have similar structure and that function together as a unit.

A nonliving material, called the intercellular matrix, fills the spaces between the cells. This may be abundant in some tissues and minimal in others. The intercellular matrix may contain special substances such as salts and fibers that are unique to a specific tissue and gives that tissue distinctive characteristics. There are four main tissue types in the body: epithelial, connective, muscle, and nervous. Each is designed for specific functions. Use the hyperlinks below to branch into a tissue type and learn more about the topic. Epithelial tissues are widespread throughout the body. They form the covering of all body surfaces, line body cavities and hollow organs, and are the major tissue in glands. They perform a variety of functions that include protection, secretion, absorption, excretion, filtration, diffusion, and sensory reception. The cells in epithelial tissue are tightly packed together with very little intercellular matrix. Because the tissues form coverings and linings, the cells have one free surface that is not in contact with other cells. Opposite the free surface, the cells are attached to underlying connective tissue by a non-cellular basement membrane. This membrane is a mixture of carbohydrates and proteins secreted by the epithelial and connective tissue cells. Epithelial cells may be squamous, cuboidal, or columnar in shape and may be arranged in single or multiple layers.

Simple cuboidal epithelium is found in glandular tissue and in the kidney tubules. Simple columnar epithelium lines the stomach and intestines. Pseudostratified columnar epithelium lines portions of the respiratory tract and some of the tubes of the male reproductive tract. Transitional epithelium can be distended or stretched. Glandular epithelium is specialized to produce and secrete substances. Connective tissues bind structures together, form a framework and support for organs and the body as a whole, store fat, transport substances, protect against disease, and help repair tissue damage. They occur throughout the body. Connective tissues are characterized by an abundance of intercellular matrix with relatively few cells. Connective tissue cells are able to reproduce but not as rapidly as epithelial cells. Most connective tissues have a good blood supply but some do not.

Numerous cell types are found in connective tissue. Three of the most common are the fibroblast, macrophage, and mast cell. The types of connective tissue include loose connective tissue, adipose tissue, dense fibrous connective tissue, elastic connective tissue, cartilage, osseous tissue (bone), and blood.

Muscle tissue is composed of cells that have the special ability to shorten or contract in order to produce movement of the body parts. The tissue is highly cellular and is well supplied with blood vessels. The cells are long and slender so they are sometimes called muscle fibers, and these are usually arranged in bundles or layers that are surrounded by connective tissue. Actin and myosin are contractile proteins in muscle tissue. Muscle tissue can be categorized into skeletal muscle tissue, smooth muscle tissue, and cardiac muscle tissue.

Skeletal muscle fibers are cylindrical, multinucleated, striated, and under voluntary control. Smooth muscle cells are spindle shaped, have a single, centrally located nucleus, and lack striations. They are called involuntary muscles. Cardiac muscle has branching fibers, one nucleus per cell, striations, and intercalated disks. Its contraction is not under voluntary control.

Nervous tissue is found in the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. It is responsible for coordinating and controlling many body activities. It stimulates muscle contraction, creates an awareness of the environment, and plays a major role in emotions, memory, and reasoning. To do all these things, cells in nervous tissue need to be able to communicate with each other by way of electrical nerve impulses. The cells in nervous tissue that generate and conduct impulses are called neurons or nerve cells. These cells have three principal parts: the dendrites, the cell body, and one axon. The main part of the cell, the part that carries on the general functions, is the cell body. Dendrites are extensions, or processes, of the cytoplasm that carry impulses to the cell body. An extension or process called an axon carries impulses away from the cell body. Nervous tissue also includes cells that do not transmit impulses, but instead support the activities of the neurons. These are the glial cells (neuroglial cells), together termed the neuroglia. Supporting, or glia, cells bind neurons together and insulate the neurons. Some are phagocytic and protect against bacterial invasion, while others provide nutrients by binding blood vessels to the neurons.

Tissues Cells group together in the body to form tissues - a collection of similar cells that group together to perform a specialized function. There are 4 primary tissue types in the human body: epithelial tissue, connective tissue, muscle tissue and nerve tissue. 1. Epithelial Tissue - The cells of epithelial tissue pack tightly together and form continuous sheets that serve as linings in different parts of the body. Epithelial tissue serve as membranes lining organs and helping to keep the body's organs separate, in place and protected. Some examples of epithelial tissue are the outer layer of the skin, the inside of the mouth and stomach, and the tissue surrounding the body's organs. 2. Connective Tissue - There are many types of connective tissue in the body. Generally speaking, connective tissue adds support and structure to the body. Most types of connective tissue contain fibrous strands of the protein collagen that add strength to connective tissue. Some examples of connective tissue include the inner layers of skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bone and fat tissue. In addition to these more recognizable forms of connective tissue, blood is also considered a form of connective tissue. 3. Muscle Tissue - Muscle tissue is a specialized tissue that can contract. Muscle tissue contains the specialized proteins actin and myosin that slide past one another and allow movement. Examples of muscle tissue are contained in the muscles throughout your body. 4. Nerve Tissue - Nerve tissue contains two types of cells: neurons and glial cells. Nerve tissue has the ability to generate and conduct electrical signals in the body. These electrical messages are managed by nerve tissue in the brain and transmitted down the spinal cord to the body.

The liver is a vital organ in the human body and is present in vertebrates and some other animals. The liver is necessary for survival; a human can only last up to 24 hours without liver function.[citation needed] It plays a major role in metabolism and has a number of functions in the body, including glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein synthesis, and detoxification. The liver is also the largest gland in the human body. It lies below the diaphragm in the thoracic region of the abdomen. It produces bile, an alkaline compound which aids in digestion, via the emulsification of lipids. It also performs and regulates a wide variety of high-volume biochemical reactions requiring very specialized tissues.[2] Medical terms related to the liver often start in hepato- or hepatic from the Greek word for liver, hēpar (ήπαρ).[3] The liver is constantly exposed to gut-derived antigens that enter via the portal vein, and it must modulate immune responses so that harmful pathogens are cleared but necessary food antigens are ignored. The liver contains a large resident and migratory population of lymphocytes and macrophages that provide immune surveillance against foreign antigen. This population of cells can be rapidly expanded in response to infection or injury by recruiting leukocytes from the circulation, a process that is dependent on the ability of lymphocytes to recognise, bind to and migrate across the endothelial cells that line the vasculature. Lymphocytes can enter the liver at several sites: the vascular endothelium in the portal tracts (comprising the hepatic artery, portal vein and bile ductule), the sinusoids (through which the blood percolates past the hepatocytes) or the central hepatic veins (through which the blood exits). The requirements and physical conditions at each site vary and there is evidence that different combinations of adhesion proteins are involved at these different sites. This article discusses the expression and function of adhesion molecules within the liver and demonstrates how specific populations of effector lymphocytes can be selectively recruited to the liver. The liver is responsible for the uptake, metabolism, detoxification and storage of macromolecules such as food products, as well as the clearance of pathogens and foreign antigens entering the body by the gastrointestinal tract. Mechanisms have evolved to ensure that the liver is patrolled by populations of lymphocytes that can respond rapidly upon detection of foreign antigen. In order to review these processes, this article begins with a brief summary of the structure and function of the liver before discussing the general principles of lymphocyte recruitment and the specific factors involved in the context of the liver microvasculature. Finally, the clinical implications of lymphocyte recruitment and the developments that might aid the clinician treating liver disease are discussed.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful