The cartilaginous tissue, or simply cartilage, have firm consistency, but not as rigid as bone tissue.
It has a supporting function, coats joint surfaces facilitating movements and is fundamental for the growth of long bones.
In the cartilages there are no nerves or blood vessels. The nutrition of the cells of this tissue is accomplished through the blood vessels of the adjacent connective tissue.
Cartilage is found in the nose, tracheal and bronchial rings, outer ear (auditory pavilion), epiglottis, and some parts of the larynx. In addition, there are cartilaginous discs between the vertebrae that cushion the impact of movements on the spine. In the fetus, cartilaginous tissue is very abundant because the skeleton is initially formed by this tissue, which is later largely replaced by bone tissue.
Cartilaginous tissue forms the skeleton of some vertebrate animals, such as dogfish, sharks and rays, which are therefore called cartilaginous fish.
There are two types of cells in cartilage: chondroblasts (from Greek chondroscartilage and blasts, "Young cell"), which produce the collagen fibers and matrix with rubber consistency. After cartilage formation, the activity of chondroblasts decreases and they suffer a small volume shrinkage, when they are called chondrocytes (from Greek chondroscartilage and kytos, cell). Each chondrocyte is enclosed within a gap slightly larger than itself, shaped during the deposition of the intercellular matrix.
The fibers present in this tissue are collagen and reticular fibers.
- Isogen Group
- Cartilaginous Matrix