Connective tissues bind structures together, form a framework and support for organs and the body as a whole, store fat, transport substances, protect against disease, and help repair tissue damage. They occur throughout the body. Connective tissues are characterized by an abundance of intercellular matrix with relatively few cells. Connective tissue cells are able to reproduce but not as rapidly as epithelial cells. Most connective tissues have a good blood supply but some do not.
Numerous cell types are found in connective tissue. Three of the most common are the [glossary term:] fibroblast, [glossary term:] macrophage, and [glossary term:] mast cell. The types of connective tissue include loose connective tissue, adipose tissue, dense fibrous connective tissue, elastic connective tissue, cartilage, osseous tissue (bone), and blood.