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repetitio est mater studiorum



repetition is the mother of

The Muscular System

There are four characteristics associated with muscle tissue:

Excitability Contractility
- Tissue can receive & respond to stimulation - Tissue can shorten & thicken - Tissue can lengthen - After contracting or lengthening, tissue always wants to return to its resting state


The characteristics of muscle tissue enable it to perform some important functions, including:

Movement both voluntary & involuntary

Maintaining posture Supporting soft tissues within body cavities Guarding entrances & exits of the body Maintaining body temperature

Muscle Tissue
Skeletal Muscle Cardiac Muscle
Smooth Muscle

Types of muscle tissue: Skeletal muscle tissue Associated with & attached
to the skeleton Under our conscious (voluntary) control Rapid contraction Microscopically the tissue appears striated Cells are long, cylindrical & multinucleate

Cardiac muscle tissue

Makes up myocardium of heart Unconsciously (involuntarily) controlled Microscopically appears striated Cells are short, branching & have a single nucleus Cells connect to each other at intercalated discs

Smooth (visceral) muscle tissue Makes up walls of organs & blood vessels
Tissue is non-striated & involuntary Cells are short, spindle-shaped & have a single nucleus Tissue is extremely extensible, while still retaining ability to contract

Anatomy of skeletal muscles




Muscle Fascicle Surrounded by perimysium

Skeletal muscle Surrounded by epimysium

endomysium Skeletal muscle fiber (cell) Surrounded by endomysium

Z line

Z line

Microanatomy of a Muscle Fiber (Cell)

transverse (T) tubules sarcoplasmic reticulum


terminal cisternae

mitochondria thick myofilament

thin myofilament




Sarcomere Relaxed

Binding Site



Muscle Contraction Summary

Nerve impulse reaches myoneural junction

Acetylcholine is released from motor neuron

Ach binds with receptors in the muscle membrane to allow sodium to enter Sodium influx will generate an action potential in the sarcolemma

Muscle Contraction Continued

Action potential travels down T tubule Sarcoplamic reticulum releases calcium

Calcium binds with troponin to move the troponin, tropomyosin complex Binding sites in the actin filament are exposed

Muscle Contraction Continued

Myosin head attach to binding sites and create a power stroke ATP detaches myosin heads and energizes them for another contaction When action potentials cease the muscle stop contracting

Motor Unit

Motor Unit Ratios

Back muscles 1:100 Finger muscles 1:10 Eye muscles 1:1

Molecule capable of storing ATP energy

Creatine + ATP

Creatine phosphate + ADP

Muscle Fatique
Lack of oxygen causes ATP deficit Lactic acid builds up from anaerobic respiration

Muscle Atrophy
Weakening and shrinking of a muscle

May be caused Immobilization

Loss of neural stimulation

Muscle Hypertrophy
Enlargement of a muscle More capillaries More mitochondria Caused by Strenuous exercise Steroid hormones

Steroid Hormones

Stimulate muscle growth and hypertrophy

Muscle Tonus

Tightness of a muscle

Some fibers always contracted

Sustained contraction of a muscle Result of a rapid succession of nerve impulses


Refractory Period

Brief period of time in which muscle cells will not respond to a stimulus

Skeletal Muscle

Cardiac Muscle

Isometric Contraction

Produces no movement Used in Standing Sitting Posture

Isotonic Contraction
Produces movement
Used in Walking Moving any part of the body

Key Note

Skeletal muscle fibers shorten as thin filaments interact with thick filaments and sliding occurs.

These physiological processes describe what happen at the cellular level

But what about at the organ level?

Anatomy of the Muscular System

Origin Muscle attachment that remains fixed Insertion Muscle attachment that moves Action What joint movement a muscle produces i.e. flexion, extension, abduction, etc.

For muscles to create a movement, they can only pull, not push Muscles in the body rarely work alone, & are usually arranged in groups surrounding a joint A muscle that contracts to create the desired action is known as an agonist or prime mover A muscle that helps the agonist is a synergist

A muscle that opposes the action of the agonist, therefore undoing the desired action is an antagonist