MUSCULAR SYSTEM

FUNCTIONS
1. Movement – contraction of skeletal muscles is responsible for the overall movements of
the body
2. Maintenance of posture
3. Respiration – muscles of thorax carry out movements necessary for respiration
4. Production of body heat
5. Communication
6. Constriction of organs and vessels
7. Contraction of heart
CHARACTERISTICS
 Skeletal muscle
 40% of body weight
 Most muscles are attached to the skeletal system, thus the name
 Also called striated muscle because transverse bands (or striations) can be seen in
the muscle under the microscope
 4 major functional characteristics:
o Contractility – ability to shorten with force
o Excitability – ability to respond to stimulus
o Extensibility – to stretch
o Elasticity – to recoil to their original length after stretching
 Structure:
o Connective tissue coverings of muscle
 Epimysium (aka muscular fascia) – connective tissue sheath
surrounding each skeletal muscle
 Perimysium – divides whole muscles into visible bundles called
fasciculi
 Endomysium – loose connective tissue that subdivides each fascicle
into separate muscle cells
o Muscle fiber structure
 Sarcolemma – cell membrane of muscle fiber
 Transverse tubules (or T tubules) – tube-like invaginations found at
the surface of the sarcolemma; occur at regular intervals along the
muscle fiber and extend inward into it
 Sarcoplasmic reticulum – highly organized smooth endoplastic
reticulum; has a high calcium concentration – plays a major role in
muscle contraction
 Sarcoplasm – cytoplasm inside each muscle fiber
 Myofibrils – threadlike structures that extend from one end to the
other; consists of 2 major kinds of protein fibers (actin and myosin)
 Sarcomeres – highly-ordered, repeating units where actin and
myosin myofilaments are arranged – to form the myofibrils
o Actin and myosin myofilaments
 Made up of 3 components: actin, troponin, tropomyosin
 Actin strands – have attachment sites for myosin
myofilaments
 Troponin molecules – attached along the actin myofilaments
at specific intervals; have binding sites for calcium
 Tropomyosin filaments – located at the groove between
twisted strands of actin myofilaments in an unstimulated
muscle

resemble golf club heads Sarcomeres – basic unit of skeletal muscle. located near the center of a muscle fiber. central region. formed by a cluster of enlarged axon terminals resting in the muscle’s cell membrane o Synapse – cell to cell junction between a nerve cell and either another nerve cell or an effector cell o Motor unit – a single motor neuron and all its skeletal muscle fibers. smallest portion of skeletal muscle capable of contraction  Each sarcomere extends from one Z disk to an adjacent Z disk  Z disk – network of protein fibers forming an attachment site for actin myofilaments  I band – light. thus making the inside of the cell membrane more negatively charged than the outside o Change in resting membrane potential is achieved by changes in membrane permeability to Na or K ions o Stimulation in a muscle fiber or nerve cell causes Na channels to open quickly and the membrane becomes very permeable to Na for a brief time o Depolarization – change in membrane potential o Repolarization – change back to resting membrane o Action potential – rapid depolarization and repolarization of the cell membrane  Nerve supply and muscle fiber stimulation o Motor neurons – specialized nerve cells that stimulate muscles to contract o Neuromuscular junction – muscle fiber where neuron branches forms a junction with. o Myosin myofilaments (thick myofilaments) . occurs because there is an uneven distribution of ions in the cell membrane  Reasons why resting membrane potential develop:  Concentration of potassium inside the cell membrane is higher than the outside cell membrane  Concentration of sodium outside is higher than inside  The cell membrane is more permeable to K than it is to Na o Types of ion channels:  Nongated (or leaked) – always open  Chemically gated – closed until a chemical binds to them and stimulates them to open o Some K channels are open. consists only of actin myofilaments. Na are closed (because excitable cells contain K in them and are nongated channels) o Negatively charged molecules (like proteins) are in essence “trapped” inside the cell because the cell membrane is impermeable to them. spans each Z disk and ends at myosin myofilaments  A band – dark. the greater control you have over that muscle . inside of the membrane is negatively charged while the outside is positively charged o Resting membrane potential – charge difference. the fewer fibers there are in a motor unit of a muscle. consists only of myosin myofilaments  M line – myosin myofilaments are anchored in the center of the sarcomere in this dark-staining band  Excitability of muscle fibers o Cell membrane is polarized. extends the length of the myosin myofilaments  H zone – second light zone.

this heat released during increases body temperature (explains why we become warmer in exercise)  Shivering – a type of generalized muscle contraction is our body’s way of dealing with cold. neither actin nor myosin shortens. H zones and I bands shorten during contraction. sarcomeres lengthen. ADP and P is released from myosin heads) o The cross bridge is released everytime a new ATP molecule attaches to the myosin head. but this lengthening requires an opposing force o Cross-bridges – formed by the binding of actin to the heads of myosin o Energy for muscle contraction is supplied in the form of adenosine triphosphate o ATP – high energy molecule produced from energy released during metabolism of food. and as long as ATP is available o When a person dies. o In muscle relaxation. this condition is called rigor mortis (stiffness + death) o Not all the energy from ATP in contraction of muscles is required for formation and movement of cross-bridges. so it can later attach to the next site (A new ATP must bind to myosin before cross-bridge can be released) o The cycle of cross-bridge formation. and the myosin returns to its original position. in muscle relaxation. the muscle movement when we shiver produces heat o Muscle relaxation – occurs as Ca is actively transported back into the sarcoplasmic reticulum (this process requires ATP). but A bands do not change in length. attachment sites on actin molecules will be covered with tropomyosin so crossbridges won’t reform  Muscle twitch. and recruitment . energy from ATP is stored in the myosin head. tetanus. ensures that only one action potential can take place  Muscle contraction o Contractions of skeletal muscle occurs as actin and myosin slide past one another. it causes Ca channels to open. ATP won’t be available anymore. and the cross-bridge formed won’t be released – this can cause the muscles to become rigid. causing sarcomeres to shorten o Sliding filament model – sliding of actin myofilaments past myosin myofilaments during contraction o During contraction. movement and release repeats as long as Ca remains attached to troponin.o o o o o o o Presynaptic terminal – enlarged axon terminal Synaptic cleft – space between the presynaptic terminal and the muscle fiber membrane Postsynaptic membrane – muscle fiber membrane Synaptic vesicles – small vesicles found in each presynaptic terminal Acetylcholine (Ach) – neurotransmitter in the synaptic vesicles. acetylcholine when combined to its receptor can open Na channels therefore making the cell membrane more permeable to Na – an action potential will be initiated Acetylcholinesterase – enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine. summation. neurotransmitters stimulates or inhibits a postsynaptic cell When an action potential reaches the presynaptic terminal. this energy is used to move heads of the myosin to the center of the sarcomere. part of it will be released as heat. calcium ions enter the terminal and cause several synaptic vesicles to release acetylcholine into the synaptic cleft by exocytosis. energy is released as ATP breaks down to adenosine diphosphate and phosphate o In contraction. causing the actin to slide past the myosin (in this process.

one contraction summates (or is added onto) a previous contraction – as a result. Before the contraction phase can occur. there is time b=for complete relaxation of muscle fibers between muscle twitches  As it increases. acetylcholine must be released from the presynaptic terminal. tropomyosin again blocks the attachment sites to prevent cross-bridge The force of contraction a muscle produces is increased in 2 ways:  Summation – increasing the force of contraction of muscle fibers within the muscle by rapidly stimulating them  Recruitment – involves increasing the number of muscle fibers contracting Summation:  Stimulus frequency – number of times a motor neuron is stimulated per second  When stimulus frequency is low. force of contraction increases  Maximum force of contraction is achieved in a given muscle when all the motor units of that muscle are recruited . it’s more commonly an experimentally induced muscular response)  Increased force of contraction produced I summation and tetanus occurs because Ca builds up in myofibrils which promotes cross-bridge formation and cycling (remember: buildup of Ca occurs because of the rapid production of action potentials in muscle fibers causes Ca to be released from the sarcoplasmic reticulum faster than it is transported back) Recruitment:  Number of muscle fibers contracting is increased by increasing the number of motor units stimulated and the muscle contracts with more force  When only a few motors are stimulated. Once the stimulus reaches the neuromuscular junction.o o o o o o o Muscle twitch – contraction of muscle in response to a stimulus. there is not enough time between contractions for a muscle fiber to relax completely  Thus. and bind to receptors that allow entry of Na – which initiates an action potential on the postsynaptic membrane. one or more motor neurons are produced. the action potential must result in the release of Ca from the sarcoplasmic reticulum and formation of cross-bridges Contraction phase – results from movement and cycling Relaxation phase – Ca is actively transported back into the sarcoplasmic reticulum – as Ca diffuses away. as mall force of contraction is produced because only a small number of muscle fibers are contracting  As number of motor units increase. an action potential travels along the axon of a motor neuron to a neuromuscular junction. the overall force of contraction increases  Tetanus – a sustained contraction that occurs when the frequency of stimulation is so rapid that no relaxation occurs (but complete tetanus rarely achieved under normal circumstances. more muscle fibers are stimulated. diffuse across the synaptic cleft. involves all the muscle fibers in a motor unit  3 phases:  Lag phase (latent phase) –time between application of a stimulus and beginning of contraction  Contraction phase – time during which a muscle contracts  Relaxation phase – time during which the muscle relaxes During the lag phase.

carbon dioxide. Conversion of 2 ADP to one ATP and one AMP (adenosine monophosphate) during heavy exercise □ Aerobic respiration -Occurs mostly in mitochondria. is now recognized Lactate – formed particularly during exercise by skeletal muscles – broken down (70-75%) or used to make new glucose (30-35%) Aerobic and anaerobic mechanisms of ATP production are linked through lactate Aerobic is much more efficient than anaerobic. type 2a is an intermediate speed) o The 3 myosin types mentioned is the product of a different myosin gene o Advantage of slow-twitch: it can sustain the contraction longer  Energy requirements for muscle contraction Ways of deriving ATP from skeletal muscle: 1. (slow-twitch fibers work aerobically) -includes low intensity and long exercises □ Anaerobic respiration – doesn’t require oxygen. It can also process lipids or amino acids to make ATP. requires oxygen and breaks down glucose to form ATP. Aerobic respiration is also more flexible because of its ability to break down lipids and amino acids to form ATP Anaerobic. Fiber types – slow-twitch or fast-twitch (based on differences in rod portion of the myosin) o Slow-twitch – contain type I myosin as the predominant or exclusive type. and water. breaks down glucose to produce ATP and lactate (fasttwitch fibers work anaerobically) -high intensity and short exercises          Exercise is not usually exclusive as anaerobic or aerobic – they both contribute (anaerobic respiration produces lactate – lactate is given to adjacent aerobic respiration pathways – lactate is either converted into ATP or secreted into blood for uptake by other tissues to make new glucose) Lactic acid – was considered a harmful waste product before. but in a matter of seconds only. they store a different high energy molecule creatine phosphate that provides a means of storing energy that can be used rapidly to maintain adequate ATP During rest. but it takes several minutes. now it’s alternate chemical form. the small ATP reserve is rapidly consumed. unlike the minutes of aerobic pathways. lactate. contract more slowly o Fast-twitch – contain either type IIa or IIb myosin filaments. produces less ATP. on the other hand. Aerobic production (with oxygen) during exercise and normal conditions 2. Creatine phosphate is then broken down to synthesize back ATP – some of these ATP is immediately used. excess ATP is produced – it is used to synthesize creatine phosphate During exercise. contract quickly (type 2b are the fastest (10x faster than type I fibers of slow-twitch. Conversion of a molecule called creatine phosphate to ATP 4. Anaerobic production (no oxygen) during intensive short-term work 3. The breakdown of glucose in aerobic respiration produces 18x more ATP than anaerobic pathways. one can’t sustain an anaerobic activity for a long time Since muscles can’t store ATP. However. some is for restoring the lost ATP .

Lactic acidosis can also result when liver malfunction results in reduced clearance of lactate (using lactate to produce glucose).       When too strenuous activity is being performed. Increase in lactate is also seen in patients with mitochondrial disorders and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. the ATP:ADP ratio decreases and interferes with the functioning of all the major ATPdependent enzymes in muscle fibers like myosin head. sarcoplasmic reticulum. length of time. increased lactate levels are due to increased anaerobic respiration production of ATP when aerobic respiration production of ATP is reduced. Lowered pH has several cellular effects (decreased effectiveness of Ca on actin. without fatigue. generating one ATP and one AMP (presence of AMP triggers a switch from anaerobic respiration to aerobic respiration) Failure of this switch to occur. Usually. calcium reuptake pump. o Oxidative stress During intense exercise. muscles woul be worked to the point of damage to them o Buildup of lactic acid and drop in pH was said to be the cause of fatigue before o Now. ROS also trigger an immune system chemical. causes fatigue After intense exercise. anaerobic respiration predominates If the use of ATP is greater than its production. increases in ROS production cause the breakdown of lipids. Oxidative stress – buildup of excess reactive oxygen species (free radicals) 3. and overall less Ca release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum). and physical condition of individual) Recovery oxygen consumption – amount of oxygen needed in chemical reactions occur to: 1. interleukin (IL-6). and the creatine phosphate is not enough to provide ATP. This is to increase respiratory activity to provide oxygen – to pay back oxygen deficit. Replenish oxygen stores in lungs. respiratory rate and volume remain elevated (even when muscles aren’t active anymore). it’s established that there are multiple mechanisms underlying fatigue: 1. Replenish depleted ATP and creatine phosphate stores in muscle fibers 3. and muscles After lactate produced by anaerobic respiration is converted to glucose and creatine phosphate levels are restored: respiration rate returns to normal  Fatigue – temporary state of reduced work capacity. and Na/K pump If ATP:ADP ratio declines. proteins or nucleic acids. IL-6 is a mediator of inflammation which is most likely to cause soreness o Inflammation . Convert lactate to glucose 2. Acidosis and ATP depletion due to either increased ATP consumption or decreased ATP production 2. (magnitude of oxygen deficit depends on the intensity of the exercise. Local inflammatory reactions o Acidosis and ATP depletion Anaerobic respiration results in breakdown of glucose to lactate and protons. blood. an enzyme transfers one phosphate from one ADP to another ADP. for lowered pH.

Muscles are still capable.IL-6 can also cause inflammation. . individual just thinks it’s not anymore capable. This is called the physiological contracture. a type of WBC. and it occurs when there is too little ATP to bind myosin myofilaments – ATP needs to bind to myosin for cross-bridge of actin and myosin to be released – if cross-bridge can’t be released. The immune system is directly activated by exercise. which is a signal to protect tissues from further damage Muscle can become incapable of either contracting or relaxing. it involves the CNS rather than the muscles. Presence of immune system intermediates increases the perception of pain. T lymphocytes. muscle cannot relax. Psychological fatigue is the most common type of fatigue. migrate into heavily worked muscles.