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Reticular connective tissue

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Understand the synthesis of reticular connective tissue.
  2. Name in which organs reticular connective tissue can be found.

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Reticular connective tissue is formed by specialized fibroblasts, the fibroblastic reticular cells. These produce reticular fibers, composed of thin strands of type III collagen, which are arranged in an interwoven three-dimensional network.

A network of reticular cells ensheath this mesh of reticular fibers. There are also free cells between the fibers, including precursors of blood cells or lymphatic cells, which can mature there and arrange themselves freely.

The reticular connective tissue is the basic tissue of primary and secondary lymphoid organs. It is therefore found in the spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes. Its occurrence in the red bone marrow is particularly important, where reticular cells together with reticular fibers and growth factors influence blood cell formation.

Watch the following video to learn more about the appearance and features of reticular connective tissue:

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Now, it is time to have a closer look at these structures in the image gallery below:

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