Cartilage

cartilage

Cartilage: It is a specialized connective tissue characterized by an extracellular matrix enriched with glycosaminoglycans & proteoglycans, macromolecules that interact with collagen and elastic fibres.

Origin: Cartilage develops from primitive mesenchyme cells.

Characteristics:

  1. Cartilage develops from mesenchyme and consists of cells, called chondrocytes and an extensive extracellular matrix composed of fibers and ground substance.
  2. Cartilage is characterized by an extracellular matrix enriched with glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans with collagen and elastic fibers.
  3. Chondrocytes synthesized and secrete the ECM and the cells themselves are located in matrix cavities called lacunae.
  4. Most cartilage is enveloped by a sheath of dense connective tissue called perichondrium.
  5. Cartilage lacks lymphatic vessels and nerves.

Components of cartilage: Cartilage consists of cells (chondrocytes) and an extensive extracellular matrix composed of fibers and ground substance.

Cell: Two types of cells are found:

  1. Chondroblasts and
  2. Chondrocytes.

Extracellular matrix: It is composed of

  1. Fibres: Collagen and elastic.
  2. Ground substance: It is composed of:
  • Water
  • Proteoglycans
  • Glycoprotrins

Functions:

  1. Cartilage is involved in supporting the soft tissues of the body.
  2. It allows the tissue to bear mechanical stresses without permanent distortion.
  3. It is shock absorbing and sliding area for joints and facilitates bone movements.
  4. Cartilage is essential for the development and growth of long bones before and after birth.

Types:

Hyaline cartilage: It contains type-II collagen is matrix, is the most abundant cartilage in the body and serves many functions. Examples:

  • Costal cartilage.
  • Articular cartilage.
  • Thyroid cartilage.

cartilage-15-728

Fibrocartilage: It has a matrix containing a dens network of coarse type-I collagen fibres. Examples:

  • Intervertebral disc.
  • Symphysis of pubis.
  • Menisci of knee joint.

fibro-cartilage-6-638

Elastic cartilage: It contains type-II collagen & abundant elastic fibres scattered throughout its matrix, giving it more pliability. Examples:

  • Auricle of external ear.
  • Walls of external auditory canals.
  • Auditory tubes.

histology-of-muscle-cartilage-and-bone-9-638

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