Muscle Physiology

Muscle tissue types
Striated, voluntary

Heart, striated, involuntary

Nonstriated, involuntary
Table 10.2

Muscle tissue terminology
Fiber ± skeletal, cardiac & smooth muscle cell Myofilaments
Actin ± thin filaments Myosin ± thick filaments

Sarcolemma ± plasma membrane Sarcoplasm ± cytoplasm

Skeletal Muscle Structure

Muscle = group of fascicles Muscle fibers extend length of muscle from tendon to tendon

Motor units

Motor unit: Composed of one motor neuron and all the muscle fibers that it innervates There are many motor units in a muscle The number of fibers innervated by a single motor neuron varies (from a few to thousand) The fewer the number of fibers per neuron the finer the movement (more brain power) Which body part will have the largest motor units? The smallest?

Components of a muscle fiber

Skeletal muscle CT
Epimysium ± surrounds entire muscle/organ Perimysium ± surrounds muscle fascicle Endomysium ± surrounds individual muscle fiber


Muscle fiber components
Sarcolemma: muscle cell membrane Sarcoplasma: muscle cell cytoplasm Motor end plate: contact surface with axon terminal T tubule: cell membrane extension into the sarcoplasm (to reach the myofibrils) Cisternae: areas of the ER dedicated to Ca++ storage (located on each side of the T-tubules) Myofibrils: organized into sarcomeres
Figure 12.2 (2 of 2)

The sarcomere
The myofibrils are organized into a repetitive pattern, the sarcomere Myosin: thick filament Actin: thin filament Bands formed by pattern: A and I and H bands Z line: area of attachment of the actin fibers M line: Myosin fiber centers

The sarcomere

Figure 12.5d

Myosin structure
Many myosin molecules per filament, golf club shape Long tail topped by a thickening: the head forms crossbridges with the thin filament Presence of the enzyme, ATPase in the head release energy for contraction

Actin structure
Formed by 3 different proteins: - globular (G) actins: bind to myosin heads - tropomyosin: long, fibrous molecule, extending over actin, and preventing interaction between actin and myosin - troponin: binds reversibly to calcium and able to move tropomyosin away from the actin active site

Figure 12.4

Sliding filament theory
Muscle contracts by actin and myosin sliding past each other Myosin forms cross-bridges that attach to actin Cross bridges all swing in same direction and pull actin along Increased overlap of filaments results in contraction of muscle

Neuromuscular Junction (pp. 401402) Axon terminal
Mitochondria Synaptic vesicles ± ACh

Synaptic cleft Motor end plate
AChR AP to muscle fiber

Sliding filament theory
Actin and myosin do not shorten A band does not change I band shortens Sarcomere shortens

T tubules
Invaginations of sarcolemma Runs between myofibrils Conducts electrical impulses from sarcolemma Excites SR to release Ca++

Sarcoplasmic reticulum
SR surrounds each myofibril Stores Ca++
Release Ca++ for contraction Ca++ uptake for relaxation


Muscle contraction
AP to axon terminal ACh released AChR activated Muscle excited Excitation travels down t-tubule SR releases Ca++ Ca++ activates sliding filament process Muscle contracts (14.5b) ml

Motor Unit
Definition: a motor neuron and all the muscle fibers it innervates. When a motor neuron fires, all muscle fibers in the motor unit contract.
All or none principle

A motor unit may contain hundreds to four muscle fibers (average ~ 150) Each muscle fibers receives one NMJ

(14. )

Summary: skeletal muscle fibers





Table 10.1

Myofilaments :actin & myosin

Cardiac muscle
Only in heart Sliding filament theory Striated No NMJ


Cardiac muscle cells
15 Qm wide X 100 Qm long Branched Intercalated discs

Gap junctions
transmit electrical impulses Forms two networks ± atrial and ventricular (10.10a)

Cardiac muscle cells
Central 1-2 nuclei Mitochondria ± numerous Less SR Fewer T tubules Myofibrils Sarcomeres
A band I band Z disc H zone Striated (10.10cd)

Smooth muscle
Six major locations
Blood vessels Respiratory system Digestive system Urinary system Reproductive system Eye (lens and iris)

Siding filament theory applies
Actin & myosin No myofibrils ± no striations

Smooth muscle fibers
Spindle shaped
2-10 Qm diameter 20-200 Qm long

Nonstriated Central nucleus Arranged in sheets
Usually in layers around a tube Peristalsis - waves of contraction to propel contents along tube


Smooth muscle organization
Single unit innervation
Smooth muscle fibers connected by gap junctions Network receives single innervation Coordinated contraction

Multiunit innervation
Each fiber innervated Locations
Iris of eye Arrector pili muscle of skin

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