There are three types of muscle tissue in the body. Skeletal muscle is the type that attaches to our bones and is used for movement and maintaining posture. Cardiac muscle is only found in the heart. It pumps blood. Smooth muscle is found in organs of the body such as the GI tract. Smooth muscle in the GI tract moves food and its digested products.
Skeletal muscle attaches to our skeleton. *The muscle cells a long and cylindrical. *Each muscle cell has many nuclei. *Skeletal muscle tissue is striated. It has tiny bands that run across the muscle cells. *Skeletal muscle is voluntary. We can move them when we want to. *Skeletal muscle is capable of rapid contractions. It is the most rapid of the muscle types.
Cardiac muscle tissue is only found in the heart. *Cardiac cells are arranged in a branching pattern. * Only one or two nuclei are present each cardiac cell. *Like skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle is striated. *Cardiac muscle is involuntary. *Its speed of contraction is not as fast as skeletal, but faster than that of smooth muscle.
Smooth muscle is found in the walls of hollow organs. *Their muscle cells are fusiform in shape. *Smooth muscle cells have just on nucleus per cell. *Smooth muscle is nonstriated. *Smooth muscle is involuntary. *The contractions of smooth muscle are slow and wave-like.
In this unit we will primarily study skeletal muscle. Each muscle cell is called a muscle fiber. Within each muscle fiber are many myofibrils.
Dark and light bands can be seen in the muscle fiber and also in the smaller myofibrils. An enlargement of the myofibril reveals that they are made of smaller filaments or myofilaments. *There is a thick filament called myosin and *a thin filament called actin. Note the I band, A band H zone or band and Z disc or line. These will be discussed shortly.
A small section of a myofibril is illustrated here. Note the thick myosin filaments are arranged between overlapping actin filaments. *The two Z lines mark the boundary of a sarcomere. The sarcomere is the functional unit of a muscle cell .We will examine how sarcomeres function to help us better understand how muscles work.
A myosin molecule is elongated with an enlarged head at the end.
Many myosin molecules form the thick myosin filament. It has many heads projecting away from the main molecule.
The thinner actin filament is composed of three parts: actin, tropomyosin and troponin.
Here is a sarcomere illustrating the thin actin and thick myosin filaments. The area of the sarcomere has only myosin is called the H band.
Here is another diagram of a sarcomere. Note the A band. It is formed by both myosin and actin filaments. The part of the sarcomere with only actin filaments is called the I band. This is a sarcomere that is relaxed.
This sarcomere is partially contracted. Notice than the I bands are getting shorter.
The sarcomere is completely contracted in this slide. The I and H bands have almost disappeared.
Which filament has moved as the sarcomere contracted? Note the thick myosin filaments have not changed, but the thin actin filaments have moved closer together.
The actin filaments are moved by the heads of the myosin filaments. In step one the myosin head attaches to an actin filament to create a cross bridge. Step two shows that the attached myosin head bends to move the actin filament. The myosin head as expended energy to create this movement. This is a power stroke or working stroke. Step three shows that energy in the form of ATP will unhook the myosin head. In step 4 the myosin head is cocked and ready to attach to an actin filament to start another power stroke.
The string of green circles represents an actin filament. There are binding sites in the filament for the attachment of myosin heads. *In a relaxed muscle the binding sites are covered by tropomyosin. The tropomyosin has molecules of troponin attached to it. *Calcium, shown in yellow, will attach to troponin. *Calcium will change the position of the troponin, tropomyosin complex. *The troponin, tropomyosin complex has now moved so that the binding sites are longer covered by the troponin, tropomyosin complex.
The binding sites are now exposed and myosin heads are able to attach to form cross bridges.*
This diagram shows the microanatomy of skeletal muscle tissue again. *The blue sarcoplasmic reticulum is actually the endoplasmic reticulum. It stores calcium. *The mitochondria are illustrated in orange. They generate ATP, which provides the energy for muscle contractions.
The next few slides will summarize the events of a muscle contraction. The nerve impulse reaches the neuromuscular junction (myoneural junction).
Acetylcholine is released from the motor neuron.
Acetylcholine binds with receptors in the muscle membrane to allow sodium ions to enter the muscle.
The influx of sodium will create an action potential in the sarcolemma. Note: This is the same mechanism for generating action potentials for the nerve impulse. The action potential travels down a T tubule. As the action potential passes through the sarcoplamic reticulum it stimulates the release of calcium ions. Calcium binds with troponin to move tropomyosin and expose the binding sites. Myosin heads attach to the binding sites of the actin filament and create a power stroke. ATP detaches the myosin heads and energizes them for another contraction. The process will continue until the action potentials cease. Without action potentials the calcium ions will return to the sarcoplasmic reticulum.
A motor unit is all the muscle cells controlled by one nerve cell. This diagram represents two motor units. Motor unit one illustrates two muscle cells controlled by one nerve cell. When the nerve sends a message it will cause both muscle cells to contract. Motor unit two has three muscle cells innervated by one nerve cell.
Motor units come indifferent sizes. *The ratio is about one nerve cell to 100 muscle cells in the back. *Finger muscles have a much smaller ratio of 1:10. *Eye muscles have a 1:1 ratio because of the precise control needed in vision.
ATP or adenosine triphosphate is the form of energy that muscles and all cells of the body use. *The chemical bond between the last two phosphates has just the right amount of energy to unhook myosin heads and energize them for another contraction. Pulling of the end phosphate from ATP will release the energy. ADP and a single phosphate will be left over. New ATP can be regenerated by reconnecting the phosphate with the ADP with energy from our food.
Creatine is a molecule capable of storing ATP energy. It can combine with ATP to produce creatine phosphate and ADP. The third phosphate and the energy from ATP attaches to creatine to form creatine phosphate.
Creatine phosphate is an important chemical to muscles. *It is a molecule that is able to store ATP energy. *Creatine phosphate can combine with an ADP * to produce creatine and ATP. This process occurs faster than the synthesis of ATP from food.
Muscle fatigue is often due to a lack of oxygen that causes ATP deficit. Lactic acid builds up from anaerobic respiration in the absence of oxygen. Lactic acid fatigues the muscle.
Muscle atrophy is a weakening and shrinking of a muscle. It can be caused by immobilization or loss of neural stimulation.
Hypertrophy is the enlargement of a muscle. Hypertrophied muscles have more capillaries and more mitochondria to help them generate more energy. Strenuous exercise and steroid hormones can induce muscle hypertrophy. Since men produce more steroid hormones than women, they usually have more hypertrophied muscles.
Steroid hormones such as testosterone stimulate muscle growth and hypertrophy.
Muscle tonus or muscle tone refers to the tightness of a muscle. In a muscle some fibers are always contracted to add tension or tone to the muscle.
Tetany is a sustained contraction of a muscle. It results from a rapid succession of nerve impulses delivered to the muscle.
This slide illustrates how a muscle can go into a sustained contraction by rapid neural stimulation. In number four the muscle is in a complete sustained contraction or tetanus.
The refractory period is a brief time in which muscle cells will not respond to stimulus.
The area to the left of the red line is the refractory period for the muscle contraction. If the muscle is stimulated at any time to the left of the line, it will not respond. However, stimulating the muscle to the right of the red line will produce a second contraction on top of the first contraction. Repeated stimulations can result in tetany.
Cardiac muscle tissue has a longer refractory period than skeletal muscle. This prevents the heart from going into tetany.
Isometric contractions produce no movement. They are used in standing, sitting and maintaining our posture. For example, when you are standing muscles in your back and abdomen pull against each other to keep you upright. They do not produce movement, but enable you to stand.
Isotonic contractions are the types that produce movement. Isotonic contractions are used in walking and moving any part of the body.