Histology Guide virtual histology laboratory

Chapter 4 - Muscle Tissue

Muscle tissue is composed of cells specialized for contraction. Muscle is classified into three types according to their structure and function:

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Fig 021 Muscle Types

Skeletal and cardiac muscle cells are called striated because they show an alternating series of bands. The repeating arrangement of their basic contractile unit, the sacromere, produces these striations.

In all types of muscle, contraction is caused by the movement of myosin filaments along actin filaments.

The terms muscle cell and muscle fiber are synonymous.

Skeletal Muscle

Skeletal muscle fibers are long cylindrical, multinucleated, striated, and under voluntary control.

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MH 055a Skeletal Muscle

(H&E)

(longitudinal and cross-section)

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MH 055ahr Skeletal Muscle

(H&E)

(longitudinal section)

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UCSF 118 Skeletal Muscle

(phosphotungstic acid/hematoxylin)
(PTAH)

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MHS 237 Skeletal Muscle

(H&E)

(longitudinal section)

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MHS 262 Skeletal Muscle

(H&E)

(cross-section)

Individual skeletal muscle cells can be seen by teasing apart a muscle.

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MHS 238 Teased Muscle

(H&E)

Muscle Insertion

A muscle insertion transmits the force of contraction from a muscle to a tendon or bone.

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MH 030 Tendon

(H&E)

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MH 023bx Fascia Lata

(H&E)

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MH 029b Bone

(H&E)

Cardiac Muscle

Cardiac muscle are short branching fibers, have a single, centrally located nucleus, show the same striations as skeletal muscle, and are under involuntary control.

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MH 054 Cardiac Muscle

(H&E)

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MH 056 Muscle Types

(phosphotungstic acid/hematoxylin)
(PTAH)

Purkinje fibers are modified cardiac muscle cells that convey electrical impulses that coordinate contraction of cardiac muscle.

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MH 058a Heart

(periodic acid-Schiff stain)

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MH 074 Heart

(phosphotungstic acid/hematoxylin)
(PTAH)

Smooth Muscle

Smooth muscle cells are spindle-shaped (fusiform), have a single, centrally located nucleus, and are under involuntary control. The uniform, nonstriated appearance gives rise to the name smooth muscle.

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MH 053 Smooth Muscle

(H&E)

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MH 024 Mesentery

(H&E)

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MH 016x Small Intestine

(H&E)

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MH 130a Gallbladder

(H&E)