The key difference between connective tissue and muscle tissue is that the main function of connective tissue is to provide a connection between tissues, organs and other body parts while the main function of the muscle tissue is to carry out movements of the body.
A tissue is a group of cells which have a common structure and function in our body. Tissues belong to one level of organization of the human body. There are four basic types of tissues: muscle, epithelial, connective and nervous tissue. Moreover, a collection of tissues form an organ, which is the next level of cellular organization. The connective tissue, as its name suggests, connects the other tissues, organs, and bones together. It contains bones, tendons and fat and other soft padding tissues. On the other hand, muscle tissue contains three types: cardiac tissue, skeletal tissue, and smooth tissue. Muscle tissue contracts upon the stimulation to provide movements.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Connective Tissue
3. What is Muscle Tissue
4. Similarities Between Connective Tissue and Muscle Tissue
5. Side by Side Comparison – Connective Tissue vs Muscle Tissue in Tabular Form
What is Connective Tissue?
Connective tissue is one of the four types of tissues that provides support to other organs and connects them together. Moreover, it fills spaces between organs and protects organs. It consists of cells, matrix and a good supply of blood. The cells in the connective tissue rest on a basement membrane. Besides, fibrous proteins and glycoproteins form the extracellular matrix of the connective tissue.
There are two main divisions of connective tissue: connective tissue proper and specialized connective tissue. The connective tissue proper is further divided as loose connective tissue and dense connective tissue. In contrast, specialized tissue consists of the adipose tissue, hematopoietic tissue, bone tissue, and blood tissue.
What is Muscle Tissue?
Muscle cells or myocytes are the basic units of the muscle tissue. Muscle tissue mainly facilitates body movements and locomotion. Furthermore, they help in giving a structure to organs and protect the internal organs from external shock and physical injury. The muscle tissue has the ability to contract and relax in an ATP dependent process.
There are three main types of muscle tissues: smooth muscle tissue, cardiac muscle tissue, and skeletal muscle tissue. These three types differ from each other by their distribution, functions, structure and their controlling mechanisms.
Smooth muscles are present around the internal viscera. They are involuntary in nature and fatigue slowly. Moreover, cardiac muscles surround the heart. They do not fatigue till death and are also involuntary in nature. Skeletal muscles, on the other hand, are present around the bones of the human body. They have a high contractibility compared to the other two muscle types. They fatigue easily and are voluntary in nature. Furthermore, contraction of skeletal muscles facilitates the movements of the body.
What are the Similarities Between Connective Tissue and Muscle Tissue?
- Connective tissue and muscle tissue are two of the four basic types of tissues in our body.
- Both these tissues are composed of living cells.
- Also, there is a good supply of blood and nerves in both tissues.
- Moreover, both tissue functions are essential for the survival of the human being.
What is the Difference Between Connective Tissue and Muscle Tissue?
Connective tissue connects different organs in an organism. In contrast to the connective tissue, the muscle tissue mainly facilitates the movements of the body. Meantime, muscle tissue also lines the internal viscera, and the heart thereby provides protection to the internal organs. Thus, the key difference between connective tissue and muscle tissue is their function.
Moreover, a further difference between connective tissue and muscle tissue is their composition. Connective tissue comprises bones, tendons and fat and soft padding tissues while muscle tissue comprises cardiac tissue, smooth tissue, and skeletal tissue. Furthermore, connective tissue is widely distributed throughout the body while muscle tissue is distributed around bones, heart and internal viscera. Therefore, we can consider this too as a difference between connective tissue and muscle tissue.
Summary – Connective Tissue vs Muscle Tissue
In brief, connective tissue and muscle tissue are two types of tissues present in the human body and other higher level organisms. The key difference between connective tissue and muscle tissue is the functions of each tissue. The main function of connective tissue is to connect the organs in the body. In contrast, the main function of muscle tissue is to facilitate movement and to provide protection to the internal organs of the body. The proper functioning of both tissue types is essential for the survival of humans and other organisms.
1. Biga, Lindsay M., et al. “Anatomy & Physiology.” 4.4 Muscle Tissue | Anatomy & Physiology, Open Oregon State, Oregon State University, Available here.
2. “Connective Tissue Lab.” Medcell.med.yale.edu, Available here.
1. Connective Tissue Human Elastic Tissue (40049096890) By Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library – Connective Tissue: Human Elastic Tissue (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. Muscle Tissue: Skeletal Muscle Fibers By Berkshire Community College Bioscience Image Library (Public Domain) via Flickr