Animal tissues are of four types, viz. epithelial tissue, connective tissue, muscular tissue and nervous tissue.
The epithelial tissue forms the covering or lining of most of the organs. The cells of epithelial tissue are tightly packed and form a continuous sheet. There is small amount of cementing materials between the cells and no intercellular space is present. Permeability of the epithelial tissue plays a great role in exchange of materials among various organs it also plays an important role in osmoregulation. All epithelial tissues are separated by the underlying tissue by an extracellular fibrous basement membrane. Epithelial tissues are of following types:
Simple Epithelium: The simple epithelium is composed of a single layer of cells. This type of epithelial tissue forms the lining of blood vessels and alveoli. Thin layer of cells facilitates exchange of substances, in such cases.
Cuboidal Epithelium: The cells are cube-shaped in cuboidal epithelium. Linings of kidney tubules and ducts of salivary glands are composed of cuboidal epithelium. Cuboidal cells provide mechanical support. Cells of epithelium may play the role of secretion and then they are called glandular epithelium.
Columnar Epithelium: Cells are column-shaped in columnar epithelium. Columnar epithelium facilitates secretion and absorption. For example; the lining of intestine is composed of columnar epithelium. In some organs, columnar epithelium has cilia present on the outer surface. Cilia facilitate movements of certain substances. The ciliated epithelium in the respiratory tract pushes the mucus forward.
Stratified Epithelium: Cells of the stratified epithelium are in many layers. Skin is an example of stratified epithelium. Stratification of layers prevents wear and tear.
The cells of a connective tissue are loosely scattered in a matrix. The matrix can be a fluid, jelly like, dense or rigid. The nature of matrix depends on the function a connective tissue serves. Following are the various connective tissues:
Muscular tissue is composed of muscle cells. Muscle cells are specialized cells which have the capability to contract and expand. Due to contraction and expansion, muscles facilitate various kinds of movements in the body. Muscular tissues are of three types:
Nervous tissue makes the nervous system and is composed of specialized cells called neuron. A neuron can be divided into two distinct parts, viz. head and tail. The head is somewhat star-shaped and contains nucleus and some other cell organelles. This is called cyton. There are numerous hair-like outgrowths coming out of the cyton. These are called dendrites. The tail ends in axon terminals. Dendrites receive the nerve impulse, while axon relays the nerve signals.
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