Friday, May 25, 2012




Learning Objective: To identify the components of muscle tissue and describe their structure,                                         composition & function.

There are 3 Types of muscle tissue
  1. Skeletal muscle
        Responsible for movement of skeleton (locomotion), facial expressions, posture, respiratory movements, other types of body movement
        Under voluntary (conscious) control; controlled by somatic motor neurons
        Appears striated under the microscope
  1. Cardiac muscle
        Responsible for movement of heart (and blood)
        Under involuntary (unconscious) control involuntarily by endocrine and autonomic nervous systems
        Also appears striated under the microscope
  1. Smooth muscle
        Responsible for movement of hollow organs such as digestive tract, uterus, bladder, blood vessels, skin, eye, glands
        Also under involuntary (unconscious) control involuntarily by endocrine and autonomic nervous systems
        Does not appear striated under the microscope

Functions & characteristics of muscle tissue
1.      Body movement (Locomotion)
2.      Maintenance of posture
3.      Production of body heat (Thermogenesis)
4.      Stabilizing joints
5.      Respiration
        Diaphragm and intercostal contractions
6.      Communication (Verbal and Facial)
7.      Constriction of organs and vessels
        Peristalsis of intestinal tract
        Vasoconstriction of blood vessels and other structures (pupils)
8.      Heart beat
  1. Excitability: capacity of muscle to respond to a stimulus
  2. Contractility: ability of a muscle to shorten and generate pulling force
  3. Extensibility: muscle can be stretched back to its original length
  4. Elasticity: ability of muscle to recoil to original resting length after stretched

Connective Tissue Sheaths of skeletal muscles
Epimysium - Tough, dense connective tissue that surrounds the entire muscle (fascia).
                     -Strong, cordlike epimysia are called tendons.
                     -Sheet-like epimysium is called aponeurosis.
Perimysium - Collagen and elastic fibers surrounding a bundle of muscle fibers (fascicles).                                -Contains blood vessels and nerves
Endomysium - Loose connective tissue that surrounds individual muscle fibers
         Also contains b.v., nerves, and satellite cells (embryonic stem cells function in repair of muscle tissue

Skeletal Muscle Attachments
  • To produce movements across a joint, muscles must be attached to at least two bones.
  • The origin is the attachment to the non-moving bone.
  • The insertion is the attachment to the bone that moves.
  • Muscles attach to origins and insertions by connective tissue
         Fleshy attachments – connective tissue fibers are short
         Indirect attachments – connective tissue forms a tendon or aponeurosis
  • In direct attachments the epimysium of the muscle is directly attached and fused to the periosteum. Example: Temporalis, Gastrocnemius and Rectus abdominis


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