- Reticular connective tissue
Older textbooks typically refer to elastic and reticular connective tissues as specialized connective tissues. Reticular connective tissue is a type of loose irregular
connective tissueand has a network of reticular fibers (fine type III collagen) that form a soft skeleton (stroma) to support the lymphoid organs ( lymph nodes, red bone marrow, and spleen. The Thymus is a lymphoid organ but is the only one that does not contain reticular connective tissue.) Reticular fibersare synthesized by special fibroblastscalled reticular cells. The fibers are thin branching structures. Adipose tissueis held together by reticular fibers.
They can be identified in
histologyby staining with a heavy metallike silveror the PAS stainthat stains carbohydrates.
Reticular connective tissue resembles areolar connective tissue, but the only fibers in its matrix are reticular fibers, which form a delicate network along which fibroblasts called reticular cells lie scattered. Although reticular fibers are widely distributed in the body, reticular tissue is limited to certain sites. It forms a labyrinth-like stroma (literally, "bed or "mattress"), or internal framework, that can support many free blood cells (large lymphocytes) in lymph nodes, the spleen, and red bone marrow.
There are more than 20 types of reticular fibres. In Reticular Connective Tissue type III collagen/reticular fiber (100-150nm in diameter) is the major fiber component. It forms the architectural framework of; liver, adipose tissue, bone marrow, spleen, basement membrane to name a few
* - "Connective tissue, reticular (LM, Medium)"
* [http://www.lab.anhb.uwa.edu.au/mb140/CorePages/Connective/Connect.htm#labreticular Histology at uwa.edu.au]
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