Reticular Tissue

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reticular tissue

[re′tik·yə·lər ‚tish·ü]
Connective tissue having reticular fibers as the principal element.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Reticular Tissue


connective tissue that forms the basis of such hematopoietic organs as bone marrow, the spleen, and the lymph nodes. It is also found in the tonsils, dental pulp, intestinal mucosa, and some other parts of the body.

Reticular tissue consists of branching (reticular) cells. The reticular fibers, which adjoin these cells’ bodies and processes, have a lattice formation and consist of delicate (200–400 Å) collagen-based fibrils of reticulin. Unlike collagen fibers, reticular fibers are intensely stained by silver salts and contain a large quantity of glycoproteins (mucopolysaccharides).

Reticular cells belong to the reticuloendothelial system and possess a high capacity for phagocytosis. It is believed that when irritated, they assume a round shape and become active macrophages. The function of recticular tissue in hematopoiesis is still obscure. The once prevalent view that reticular cells may be converted into such constituents of blood as lymphocytes and hemocytoblasts has not been confirmed experimentally.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.