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Chapter: Anatomy and Physiology for Health Professionals: Levels of Organization : Tissues

There are trillions of cells in the human body, each with specialized functions.


After studying this chapter, readers should be able to

1. Describe the four major types of tissues.

2. Discuss the types and functions of epithelial tissue.

3. Identify endocrine and exocrine glands.

4. Explain the characteristics of mast cells, macrophages, and adipocytes.

5. Describe three types of connective tissue fibers.

6. Explain fluid connective tissues.

7. Describe the various types of cartilage.

8. Describe how bone tissue establishes the framework of the body.

9. Describe the three types of muscle tissue and their characteristics.

10. Discuss the basic structure and role of neural tissue.


There are trillions of cells in the human body, each with specialized functions. Cells are the body’s basic units of structure and function, and their specialization enables the body to function in highly efficient ways. For this ability, several different types of cells must coordinate their efforts. The combination of different cell types, with similar structures and func-tions, creates tissues. The four basic tissue types are epithelial, connective, nervous, and muscle tissues. In general, epithelial tissues have covering functions, connective tissues have supporting functions, ner-vous tissues have controlling functions, and muscle tissues produce movement. However, most organs contain all four tissue types. The study of tissues is called histology.

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