Dense irregular connective tissue functions, location and structure

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Dense Irregular Connective Tissue Definition

Dense irregular connective tissue is a type of general connective tissue that is mostly composed of densely packed type 1 collagen fibers in diverse orientations with much less ground substance and sparse fibrocytes. Among these collagen fibers is an extensive network of elastic fiber providing resistance to tearing from all directions as well as some elasticity.

Dense Irregular Connective Tissue Structure

The structure of dense irregular connective tissue shows thick, rope-like strands of collagen fibers that are eosinophilic and cutting across various planes as a result of the irregular arrangements of these fibers.

The cells of dense irregular connective tissue are fibrocytes which appear thin and dark cells with condensed nuclei scattered sparsely throughout the tissue. These fibrocytes are responsible for the production and maintenance of the type 1 collagen fibers of the dense irregular tissue.

In the capsules of some organs such as the kidneys, the dense irregular connective tissue shows a woven structure with the fibers densely packed in layers and running in the direction in which the tissue is pulled while in other cases, the coarse fiber bundles are tightly interwoven which is the reason why the dense irregular connective tissue is also called Matted connective tissue or felted connective tissue, also mixed with these coarse bundles of collagen fibers some delicate reticular connective tissue fibers.

Scanning Electron Microscopy (X5000) showing Dense irregular connective tissue of the renal capsule.
Scanning Electron Microscopy (X5000) showing Dense irregular connective tissue of the renal capsule.

 

Dense Irregular Connective Tissue Function

Dense irregular tissue functions mainly in providing structural support and strength against forces applied from multiple directions (it increases the tensile strength of the tissue in which it is found).

Where is Dense Irregular Connective Tissue Found?

  1. Sclera of the eyes
  2. Dura mater of the brain
  3. Renal capsule
  4. Dermis of the skin
  5. Tarsus of the eyelids
  6. Submucosa of the digestive tract
  7. Connective tissue sheaths of muscles
  8. Connective Tissue sheaths of nerves
  9. The periosteum
  10. Adventitia of blood vessels

Dense Irregular Connective Tissue Location

Dense irregular connective tissue is located in the deeper layer of the reticular dermis and sub-mucosa of the GIT and the capsule of organs.

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