• Dr. Aubrey Wallace

The Connected Heart


What is the relationship between the connective tissues and the heart?

At first this question stopped my mind.

I'm not sure.

Here’s why.

In the body there are four kinds of tissues.

A tissue is defined as a collection (or community if you’d like) of the same type of cells.

These cell communities include:

Nerve tissues

Muscle tissues

Epithelial tissues

and

Connective tissues.

Nerve tissue is filled with neurons.

Neurons are unique in their ability to conduct an electrical charge.They communicate with one another by

action potentials: impulses of shared electricity.

They also have long dendrites and axons with which they touch each other, looking like branches or roots of trees.

Muscle tissue is filled with myocytes. Myocytes contract (get shorter) relax (reset to longer length).

There are three types of muscle cells:

skeletal, cardiac and smooth.

Skeletal myocytes form muscles which move the skeleton around so we can move around.

Cardiac myocytes form the heart muscle.

They have a special branching Y shape, so they can all contract together with the same signal.

Smooth myocytes are flat and irregular shaped. Perfect for wrapping around in a circle: like in intestines or the spleen.

Epithelial tissue is filled with Epithelial cells.

These cells form the barriers to the outside world and select what comes in and out.

They line the entire outside of our bodies, helping to form the skin.

They line the entire inside of our digestive tract, helping to protect us and select what we absorb from the world we ingest.

Connective tissue is interesting.

It connects all the rest.

It also has many different types of cells.

Connective tissue cells include:

Blood cells: lymphocytes and erythrocytes.

(white blood cells and red blood cells)

Bone cells: osteocytes.

Cartilage cells: chondrocytes.

Fascia, tendons, ligaments, and pleural sheaths: formed by fibroblasts: fiber making cells.

Special brain support cells called glia.

All of the weaving together is the connective tissue.

The heart is an organ.

Organs are specialized groups of tissues working together for a function.

Some of the organs include: the heart, the skin (largest organ), the pancreas, the liver, the gallbladder, the stomach, the small and large intestines, the thyroid, the thymus, muscles, bones, etc.

Each organ is made up of all four types of tissue working together.

Each organ requires nerve conduction, muscle contraction, some protection/assimilation and to stay connected within themselves and to each other.

The organs join together in communities of sorts to perform specific functions.

These are called organ systems: or body systems.

There are 10-12 depending upon who you ask.

These include: the cardiovascular system, integumentary system, skeletal system, nervous system, digestive system, lymphatic system, immune system, musculoskeletal system, endocrine system, respiratory system, genitourinary system and reproductive system.

The heart is part of the cardiovascular system, along with all the blood vessels.

This system is like a group of rivers throughout the whole body, feeding oxygen nutrients to all of the cells and taking away wastes.

So what is the relationship between connective tissues and the heart?

They make up the heart.

They also connect the heart to the other organs and to the other organ systems.

They make up the blood flowing through the heart.

The septum and valves of the heart.

The pericardium: a special sheath of fascia that protects the heart, holding the cells which produce a slippery substance the gives the heart basically no friction in its movement.

They cradle and connect the vessels and capillaries to feed the heart and connect it to its own method of feeding the rest of the body.

They connect it to the lungs to received its oxygen and let go of carbon dioxide.

They keep the integrity of body’s circulation against the force of gravity, through special fluid and movement dynamics, so we can stand without losing our blood supply.

I personally think they communicate in their own way, constantly adapting us to what we use our bodies to do and even how we feel.

I hope that points to an answer.

And well done, if you have read this far!

Thanks for staying connected!


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