Loose and dense connective tissue, a. Mallory-Azan-stained specimen of a section through the epiglottis, showing the lower part of its stratified epithelium (Ep), subjacent loose connective tissue (LCT), and dense connective tissue (DCT) below. Loose connective tissue typically contains many cells of several types. Their nuclei vary in size and shape. The elongate nuclei most likely belong to fibroblasts. Because dense connective tissue contains thick collagen bundles, it
In contrast, where only strength is required, collagen fibers are more numerous and densely packed. Also, the cells are relatively sparse and limited to the fiber-forming cell, the fibroblast (Fig. 3.2b). This type of connective tissue is described as dense connective tissue.
Bone and cartilage are two other types of connective tissue characterized by the material associated with collagen, i.e., calcium (bones) and hyaluronic acid (cartilage). Again, in both of these tissues, it is the extracellular material that characterizes the tissue, not the cells.
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