Epithelial Tissue vs. Connective Tissue

The key difference between epithelial tissue and connective tissue is that epithelium makes the external and internal linings of body cavities and viscera like skin, kidney, stomach, intestine, etc. While connective tissues are present in the whole body and they are composed of a network of fibers.

Epithelial Tissue vs. Connective Tissue
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There are different types of tissues present in the body. Epithelial tissues and connective tissues are two major types of tissues. Epithelial tissues are present adjacent to the basement membrane, and they cover the linings of body cavities and viscera like intestine, esophagus, stomach, peritoneal cavity, and kidneys, etc. On the other hand, connective tissues are present all around the body.

They form a network of fibers linked with one another. Connective tissues provide support to other tissues and cells of the body, and they connect other tissues providing a way for the transport of materials and communication. Epithelial tissues perform the function of a barrier. They function to regulate the entry and exit of different substances while connective tissues provide support, protect and bind other organs and tissues.

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Epithelial tissues tissue are present above the basement membrane while connective tissue is present below the basement membrane. In the epithelial tissues, cells are organized in multiple layers or in a single layer while in connective tissues, cells are not organized; rather they are scattered in the matrix.

A small amount of intracellular is present in epithelial tissues while a large amount of intracellular matrix is present in connective tissues. In epithelium, tissues get their nutrition from the adjacent basement membrane. Tissues are not supplied by blood capillaries while connective tissues are supplied by blood capillaries. They get their nutrition from these blood capillaries.

Epithelial tissues may be developed from endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm depending upon the type of tissues while connective tissues are always developed from the mesodermal layer of the embryo. Broadly speaking, the epithelium is divided into two major types, i.e., simple epithelium and stratified epithelium. Then further classified into simple cuboidal, simple squamous, simple columnar, stratified squamous, stratified cuboidal, stratified columnar and transitional type.  Types of connectives tissues are loose connective tissue, adipose connective tissue, fibrous connective tissue, bone, cartilage, and blood.

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Contents: Difference between Epithelial Tissue and Connective Tissue

Comparison Chart

Basis Epithelial Tissue Connective Tissue
Definition Epithelial tissues are present adjacent to the basement membrane, and they surround the body cavities and viscera like intestine, stomach, esophagus, and kidney, etc. Connective tissues are present all over the body, and they function to connect the other tissues and organs.
Present where They are present above the basement membrane. They are present below the basement membrane.
Functions They perform the role of a barrier to regulate the entry and exit of the substances. They provide support to other organs and tissues by connecting and binding them.
Arrangement of cells Cells are arranged in the form of either a single layer or multiple layers   Cells are not arranged in the form of layers. They are scattered in the matrix.
Amount of intracellular matrix The little amount of intracellular matrix is present in these tissues. Abundant amount intracellular matrix is present in these types of tissues.
Source of nutrition These tissues get their nutrition from the adjacent basement membrane. They do not have a blood supply. They are provided with blood supply. They obtain their nutrition from blood capillaries.
Embryological origin. Embryologically, they may be developed from ectoderm, endoderm or mesoderm depending upon the type of epithelium  They are developed from mesoderm only.
Types The epithelium is divided into simple epithelium and stratified epithelium. Which are further categorized as simple cuboidal epithelium, simple squamous, simple columnar, stratified squamous, stratified cuboidal and stratified columnar and transitional epithelium? Types of connective tissues are loose connective tissue, adipose connective tissue, fibrous connective tissue, cartilage, blood, and bone.

What is Epithelial Tissue?

Epithelial tissues are the types of tissues which form the internal and external linings of body cavities and viscera like the esophagus, stomach, intestine, kidney, peritoneum, etc. Epithelial is actually the covering of the body which is also present beneath the skin.  It is present above the basement membrane. Epithelial tissues are made up of epithelial cells which are connected with each other. They function to regulate the entry and exit of substances across the viscera and body cavities.

Epithelial tissues form the first layer of the mucosa; the layers of mucosa below epithelium are lamina propria and muscularis mucosae. The cells of epithelium are very closely interlinked with each other, and a small amount of extracellular matrix is present. There are two major types of epithelium, i.e., simple epithelium and stratified epithelium. In simple type, only one layer of cells is present while in stratified type, multiple layers are present. These two types are further categorized as simple squamous, simple cuboidal, simple columnar, stratified squamous, stratified cuboidal and stratified columnar, pseudostratified columnar and transitional type.

What is Connective Tissue?

Connective tissue is the types of tissue which connect the other tissues and organs with one another. They form a network of fibers, and they have an abundant amount of intracellular and extracellular matrix which is semi-fluid. Connective tissues, in fact, form the skeleton, fat, blood, muscles, nerves, etc. They provide a way of transport and communication in the body. Adipose tissues are also a type of connective tissue which insulates the body and provide heat.

Connective tissue has a rich blood supply. They get their nutrition from blood capillaries. They are originated from mesoderm. There are various types of connective tissues, i.e., loose connective tissue, adipose connective tissue, fibrous tissue, blood, bones, cartilage, and tendons. Connective tissues are present below the basement membrane, and they are found in the whole body.

Key Differences

  1. Epithelial tissues are the tissues which form the linings of viscera and body cavities while connective tissues connect other body organs and tissues.
  2. Epithelial tissue is present above the basement membrane while connective tissue is present below the basement membrane.
  3. Epithelial tissues act as a barrier during the entry and exit of substances while connective tissues provide support to the organs and tissues.
  4. Epithelial tissues get their nutrition from basement membrane while connective tissue get nutrients from blood capillaries
  5. Epithelial tissues may be originated from ectoderm, endoderm or mesoderm while connective tissue is originated from mesoderm only.
  6. In epithelial tissue, cells are arranged in the form of layers while in connective tissue, cells are scattered in the matrix.

Conclusion

Epithelial tissues and connective tissues are two major types of tissues present in the body. Biology students must have a sound knowledge about these types of tissues. In the above article, we got through and profound knowledge about both of these tissues.

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