The human body is comprised of four different types of tissues that are necessary for our very survival. These are epithelial, connective, nervous and muscle tissues. Let us examine the dedicated roles that each one plays within our bodies.
From a broad sense, epithelial tissue can be seen as a “lining” which protects various surfaces of the body. This type is found as the outermost layer of the skin while it is also present on the organs and inside of the small and large intestines.
As the name suggests, connective tissue is responsible for providing the body with support and structure. There are two subcategories of this tissue. Loose connective tissue plays a role in structures such as the skin, lymph nodes, bone marrow and muscles. As these materials are considered less rigid, the term “loose” is used.
On the contrary, fibrous connective tissue is much stronger and is used in areas such as the joints between bones. Examples of this type include cartilage, ligaments and tendons. The bones themselves can even be called a type of connective tissue.
Nervous tissue will allow different parts of the body to communicate with one another through the use of electrical impulses. Of course, the two most common examples of nervous tissue are the brain and the spinal cord. Thus, nervous tissue can be thought of as a “transit” system which enables the body to react to its interior and exterior environment. This tissue contains specialised cells that are known as neurons. These will initiate impulses to other cells and in turn, to the brain itself.
The most important feature of muscular tissue is that it has the ability to contract. Obviously, such actions are useful for lifting objects, mobility, breathing and protecting the internal organs. As muscular tissue is present throughout the body, there are a few different types. Cardiac muscle is only found within the heart while skeletal muscle is responsible for all physical movements. A final variant is known as smooth muscle (this lines the walls of organs and blood vessels).
These four categories of human tissue play critical roles in the human body. Extensive damage to any type can cause serious injury and in some cases, even death.