Tissue Types- What is inside us?

Welcome everyone. Today I am going to talk about the tissue types found within our body. It is important to talk about tissue types because different disease target various tissues. For example, myocardial infarction, aka heart attack, targets cells within our blood vessels that ultimately affect muscles of the heart. By understanding how blood move across vessels and into muscles, we can employ different techniques to resolve a heart attack, such as using stents and balloons. As you can see, by understanding the function of these tissues, scientists and doctors can focus on designing  medical solutions. There are 5 different types of tissues in the human body,

1. Connective and Supportive Tissue
These include bones and fibrous tissues that connects and support two things together like cartilage between joints and interosseus membrane of the fibula and tibia. Others include collagen found in our skin that help us from aging, the discs between each spine level, and the cranium that is used for protection of the brain. Connective tissue support our body, aid in body movements, and prevent the body from damaging itself from our daily activities.

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Most commonly, osteoporosis results because supportive tissues in our body is weakened or damaged. Bone, in this case, is where our body stores calcium to make hydroxyapitite, which is the active ingredient that provides high tensile strength and structural support to our posture. When bone is weakened because of hormonal imbalance or inadequate daily calcium and Vitamin D intake, our bones become brittle. Many complications may result from osteoporosis including bone fractures, especially at the hip and femur. On the other hand, arthritis is the inflammation of the joint due to the damages done on the articular cartilage between the bones. Since articular cartilage is responsible to lubricate between the two bones along with synovial fluids found within the joint capsule. The loss of cartilage therefore induces inflammation within the joint and cause unbearable pain to that individual. Other connective tissue defects include Ehler-Danlos syndrome, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, and Marfan syndrome.
2. Hematolymphoid Tissue
Hematolymphoid tissue includes blood and cells that make up our immune system. Their function is to transport stuff (nutrients and waste) into and out of our body. It also contains our immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses. These includes white blood cell, platelets, red blood cell, T cells, B cells, NK cells, and many more. Each of these cells have various function and they are essential for our daily living.
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For example, sickle cell anemia is a condition in which our blood changes its shape and its affinity for oxygen. The lack of oxygen is a dangerous condition because it suffocates our organs and decreases the amount of oxidative phosphorylation happening in our cell, therefore our cells are unable to produce ATP and provide enough energy to drive chemical reactions in our body. Normally, red blood cells have a shape of biconcave disc, shown in the picture below. However, in sickle cell anemia, the genetic mutation causes the cell to change its shape because of different electrostatic forces, resulting in a “sickle” shaped red blood cell. The patient may therefore experience extreme fatigue, jaundice, and difficult to make urine.
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3. Muscle Tissue
Without a lot of scientific knowledge, we probably already know a lot about our muscle. They help to move our skeleton from one point to another. They help us attract the opposite sex. And they also provide the explosiveness that is required for any sports. There are three main types of muscle tissues within the body: cardiac tissue (the one we are most interested in in my opinion), skeletal tissue and smooth muscle tissues.
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Each tissue types are important and therefore are all essential for the proper functioning of our body. First, skeletal muscles are important for movements and generating heat to keep us warm. Have you noticed that we shiver when we get cold in the winter? It is an autonomic response from our brain to signal the muscles to twitch. The contraction of the muscle therefore generates heat and to keep us from becoming hypothermic. In addiction, muscles helps attract the opposite gender in our society. There are many studies that show (at least in the Western world), muscle mass often associate with  mating patterns and increase the number of sexual encounters. Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, which are the predominant male hormone, is directly associated with muscle mass and sexual function.  Just think about a bodybuilder who takes a lot of anabolic steroid who are muscular!
Second, Cardiac muscle is important for regulating our heart and keeping a regular rhythm. As you can imagine, they are predominantly found within the heart. Interestingly, they have specific pores and channels within individual muscle cell that allow electrical current to pass from one cell to another. This help them to communicate with one another and to provide a synchronous heart beat to push blood from the cardiac chamber to the lungs and to the rest of our body. Atrial fibrillation results when our cardiac muscle cells are not regulated properly. This may be caused by obstructed/damaged electrical fibers in the atrium.  As a result, the atriums are not able to produce proper beating rhythm to push more blood into the ventricles of the heart. Stagnant blood therefore poses risk for blood clot formation that may lead to stroke or pulmonary embolism. On the other hand, if our ventricle is not beating properly, in a condition called ventricular fibrillation, or V-fib, it may result in death within minutes.
Smooth muscle, on the other hand, is important for regulating vessel sizes and our digestive system. It composes of the muscles within the digestive tract, sphincters, the anus, the urethra and all the major blood vessels of our circulatory system. For example, different hormones of our body can activate or deactivate smooth muscle to contract. These hormones include epinephrine, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine. Contraction of these muscles lead to a narrower blood vessel, hence increases your blood pressure. Dysautonomia is a condition in which you lack regulation of these hormones that lead to uncontrolled blood pressure.
4. Nervous Tissue
The nervous tissue allows organ to communicate with the brain and other structures of our body. It also receive and transmit stimulation into our body such as sound waves, light and other sensory information. In addition, nervous tissue can transmit signals from the brain to our muscles, which allow us to move the body. There are many types of nervous tissue found within our body, but most of them are composed of neurons.  Neuron is the building unit of our central (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system (the rest of our body).  Subtypes of nervous tissues that are particularly important include: Multipolar neurons (Motor neuron) and pseudounipolar neurons (Sensory neuron).
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Damages in the nervous tissue result in dysfunction of the organ that it innervates (stimulate). The tibial nerve, located at the lower limb, is responsible for innervating the posterior muscle compartment of our thigh and leg. That includes the hamstring muscles, which are semimembranosus and semitendinosis. If  the tibial nerve is damaged, we will not be able to flex our thigh. Another example would be trauma to the head that results in large bruises within the cranium, such as in cases of subdural hematoma and stroke. Similarly, this will lead to difficulty with speech and half body paralysis depending on the location of injury. Trauma to the back of the head (the occipital lobe) may result in blindness.
5. Epithelial Tissue
These are tissues that covers our body and provide a hostile barrier to prevent pathogens from entering into our system.  The different types of the epithelial tissues are summarized as follows:
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Each of these tissues can be found at specific parts of our body. In general,  stratified epithelial tissues are very keratinized, meaning that they have a lot of dead cells with keratin deposits. On the other hand, simple cuboidal tissues are secreting tissues that provide lubrication, hormone, or other enzymes that are essential for body functions. Lastly, simple columnar allows our digestive system to provide immense amount of surface area to absorb nutrients. Each of these subtypes of epithelial tissues are important and play an essential role in overall body function. Dysfunction of these tissues may result in inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohns, Celiac disease, and various cancer.
To summarize, it is very important for scientists, doctors, and bioengineers to understand the different tissue types within our body. Base of this information, current medical technology and pharmaceutical companies  can target specific tissue types to solve diseases, including cancer, diabetes, stroke, and other common diseases.
Please comment, share, and subscribe if you like this article.
Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day.
Jeffrey

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