Difference Between Loose Connective Tissue and Dense Connective Tissue

Main Difference

The main difference between Loose Connective Tissue and Dense Connective Tissue is that Loose Connective Tissue has loosely packed protein fibers and Dense Connective Tissue has tightly packed protein fibers.

Loose Connective Tissue vs. Dense Connective Tissue

Loose connective tissue is a type of connective tissue proper in which fibers are loosely arranged; on the other hand, Dense connective tissue is a type of connective tissue proper in which fibers are tightly packed. Loose connective tissue has fibroblasts while Dense connective tissue has fibrocytes. Loose connective tissue has three types of tissues, whereas Dense connective tissue has two types of tissues. Loose connective tissue has less concentration of collagen, while Dense connective tissue has more concentration of collagen. Loose connective tissue is present between the organs, on the other hand, Dense connective tissue in the present in the organs. Loose connective tissue keeps organs at their place while Dense connective tissue helps to regain shape after stretch.

Comparison Chart

Loose Connective TissueDense Connective Tissue
Loose connective tissue is the type of the connective tissue proper in which the fibers are loosely organized and help to keep organs at a specific place.Dense connective tissue is the type of the connective tissue proper in which the fibers are tightly packed and help to resist the stretching.
Subdivision
Adipose tissue, Areolar tissue, Reticular tissueDense regular connective tissue, Dense irregular connective tissue
Composition
Fibroblasts, adipocytes, and mesenchymal cells, Macrophages, mast cells, lymphocytes, plasma cells, and phagocytic cellsFibrocytes, adipocytes, and mesenchymal cells, Macrophages, mast cells, lymphocytes, plasma cells, and phagocytic cells
Collagen Concentration
Loose connective tissue contains less collagen fibersDense connective tissue contains more collagen fibers
Arrangement of fibers
Loose connective tissue is present between the organs.Dense connective tissue is present in the organs.
Arrangement of fibers
Loosely arranged fibersNumerous thick fibers
Major Functions
Serves as supporting matrix to bloodvessels, nerves, lymphatic vessels, muscles and organsProduce tendons and ligaments

What is Loose Connective Tissue?

Loose connective tissue is the type of the connective tissue proper in which the fibers are loosely organized and have large spaces between them. Loose connective tissue is the most abundant type in vertebrates. Loose connective tissue is present between many organs, thus helps to keep the organs in their specific place. Loose connective tissue absorbs shocks and finds in a role in binding tissues together. Loose connective tissue helps to diffuse various things to adjacent cells or tissues. Loose connective tissue is abundant in fibroblasts that form some components of the extracellular matrix. Loose connective tissue has three types of fibers, namely collagen fibers, elastic fibers, and reticular fibers. Loose connective tissue is composed of adipose tissue, areolar tissue, and reticular tissue. Adipose tissue of Loose connective tissue has a less extracellular matrix and have a lot of fat storage cells. Loose connective tissue is abundant in white adipose tissue. The loose connective tissue of infants is abundant in the brown adipose tissue and termed as baby fat. Loose connective tissue in adults has little brown fat around the neck and clavicular regions. Areolar tissue of Loose connective tissue has less specialization. Areolar tissue of Loose connective tissue is present in spaces between muscle fibers. Areolar tissue of Loose connective tissue also surrounds the blood and lymph vessels. Reticular tissue of Loose connective tissue is meshed like in appearance. Areolar tissue of Loose connective tissue provides support to soft organs, which include the liver, spleen, and lymphatic tissue.

What is Dense Connective Tissue?

Dense connective tissue is the type of the connective tissue proper in which the collagen I fibers are present in the large amount. Dense connective tissue provides resistance to stretching in a great extent. Dense connective tissue forms tendons and ligaments. Dense connective tissue forms lower skin layers too. Dense connective tissue has two further subdivision, Dense regular connective tissue, and Dense irregular connective tissue. Dense regular connective tissue has fibers which are arranged in parallel fashion thus provide enhanced tensile strength and provide resistance to stretching. Dense regular connective tissue contains collagen and elastin fibers; this helps the ligament to come to its original length after stretching. Dense irregular connective tissue has fibers which are arranged in random directions; this helps to provide more strength in all directions and less strength in a specific direction. Dense irregular connective tissue forms a mesh in some tissues because crisscross. Dense irregular connective tissue provides stretching in all direction by forming alternating layers where fibers are arranged in the same direction, while layers are arranged at an angle. Dense irregular elastic connective tissue helps arterial walls to regain the original shape after a stretch.

Key Differences

  1. Loose connective tissue has fibers which are loosely arranged while Dense connective tissue has fibers which are tightly arranged.
  2. Loose connective tissue contains fibroblasts while Dense connective tissue contains fibrocytes
  3. Loose connective tissue has less collagen whereas Dense connective tissue has more collagen
  4. Loose connective tissue serves as supporting matrix while Dense connective tissue forms tendons and ligaments

Conclusion

The conclusion of the above discussion is that Loose connective tissue and Dense connective tissue are types of connective tissue proper and have a significant role in the composition of tissues and organs.

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