The Blood A Very Special Connective Tissue

Chapter 11 did define blood connective tissue as the material which is pumped in a ''little circle'' (circul) through the body's extensive network of blood vessels. And Chapter 5, you perhaps recollect, gave us a real CNEMI (NEE-mee) or ''leg'' up on the four basic types of body tissues. The first letter in CNEMI, of course, is C for Connective Tissue. It was pointed out that connective tissue either directly or indirectly connects body parts together.

Doesn't the blood, in fact, indirectly ''connect'' practically all of our body parts together? The reason, obviously, is that the blood is the fluid connective tissue that circulates throughout the human corpus, thereby linking body structures together (in a physiological sense rather than strictly anatomical one).

Blood is further classified as a ''special'' connective tissue because of the unique nature of the intercellular material between its cells - the plasma (PLAZ-muh). Plasma is the clear, watery, liquid ''matter'' (plasm) of both the blood and the lymph (LIMF) connective tissues. Therefore, after we examine the blood or ''red stuff,'' we will be obliged to do the same for the lymph or ''clear spring water.''

To briefly capsulize, blood is a red, sticky connective tissue with a fluid intercellular matter or matrix (the plasma) that occupies about 4-6 liters of volume in the average-sized adult.

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