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Physiology Monday 3rd ,October, 2011 Done by: Abeer Dirawi

skeletal muscle contraction

Contraction of the skeletal muscle initially occurs because of an order from the brain which is voluntary , if you are moving your hand or leg its voluntary process which means that an order comes from the brain to somatic (motor) or voluntary neuron through the efferent pathway . Neuromuscular junction is the space between the neuron and the muscle fiber and the action potential will be transmitted to the muscle fiber through this junction We have three types of muscles , smooth muscles skeletal muscles ( form about 40% of the body mass ) cardiac muscles . but basically the contraction of the muscle is the same in all these types. * When the action potential reach the nerve fiber it will increase calcium permeability through the sarcoplasmic reticulum (the source of the calcium) so calcium will enter the nerve fiber and enhance the acetylcholine release Acetylcholine will transfer through neuromuscular junction at the end of axon and enhance the sodium to enter the muscle fiber so the action potential will be generated Acetylcholine deactivated by acetylcholinestrase into acetyl and choline.

Skeletal muscle are composed of multinucleated muscle fiber, each muscle fiber is surrounded by a cell membrane called Sarcolemma. Each muscle contains many myofibrils ,and myofibrils composed of myofilaments . these myofilaments composed of Actin (thin filaments) and Myosin (thick filaments) , actually these filaments responsible for the contraction of the muscle. The myofibrils are organized into Sarcomeres _ composed of thin and thick filaments_ which are the functional unit of the muscle . they are separated from each other by Z disc / line. (figure 1 )


I band : only actin filaments . A band : overlap between thin and thick filaments. H zone: only thick filaments .

What keep actin and myosin in place ? myosin (thick )filaments are attached to Z line through TININ _ high molecular protein. these Tinin filaments act like springs keeping myosin filaments in their place after shortening and elongation of the sarcomere (i.e increases the elasticity of the muscle)

Myofilaments :
a) Thick filaments composed of two heads and tail , at the head there are two functional sites : - the active site , which is suppose to bind the active site of Actin - ATPase enzyme , this can cleave ATP molecule to produce energy to energize contraction process


Actin binding site

b)Thin filaments contain : 1. Actin 2. Tropomyosin _ at rest covers the myosin binding site on actin molecules , so there will be no binding with myosin. 3. Troponin consists of three subunits T , C and A The active site at the thin filament it is the actin



Step 2

Step 3

The net result : The Z line moves toward one another , the length of the sarcomere decreased , the M.F shortens the I band get narrower the A band stay at the same width H zone become shorter

Step 1 : * Muscle fibers are activated by motor nerve fibers which release enough ACh to depolarize the muscle fibers ACh opens cations channels and more Na+ influx occur this will cause end plate potential ( graded potential ) which leads to generation of action potential.

The action ponential propagates along sarcolemma and travels deep in the muscle fiber through transverse tubules (T-Tubules). Action potential reaches the sarcoplasmic reticulum which is near to T tubules.

Opening of Ca++ channels of sarcoplasmic reticulum

Step 2 : Opening sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca++ channels leads to movement of large amount of Ca++ from sarcoplasmic cisternae . When Ca++ binds to troponin C, the tropomyosin moves away from the myosin binding site on actin and this initiate cross bridge cycle

Step 3 _Cross bridge cycle : (cross bridge _ head) Movement of thin filaments on thick filaments walk along theory :

The stages of walk along theory: Stage 1 : - Myosin heads bind to the exposed site of actin molecules (active site / not blocked by tropomyosin) . The mayosin heads contain ATP molecules which is hydrolyzed into ADP + Pi Stage 2: - The bond between myosin and actin causes bending of myosin head toward the center of the sarcomere , pulling with it the actin filaments . At this stage the ADP+Pi are released from the myosin head. Stage 3 : - New ATP attach to the myosin and actin causes detachment of myosin from actin . Stage 4 : - Return of the myosin head ( cross bridge) to its perpendicular origin and ready to start new cycle .

Rigor mortis
Its the rigidity in the muscles after death. Because the bonds between myosin and actin dont broken since after death there is no more ATP molecules which needed for attachment of the contractile protein. But later after 12 hours these links are destroyed by advancing autolysis of muscles proteins by the release of ribosomal enzymes.

Sorry for any mistake Good luck ;)