Vertebrate muscle anatomy
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Vertebrate Muscle Anatomy. Muscles: convert the chemical energy of ATP into mechanical work. Three different kinds of muscles are found in vertebrate animals Skeletal Cardiac Smooth. involuntary, striated auto-rhythmic. voluntary, striated. heart. moves bone. multi-nuleated.

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Vertebrate Muscle Anatomy

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Vertebrate muscle anatomy

Vertebrate Muscle Anatomy

Muscles: convert the chemical

energy of ATPinto mechanical work.

Vertebrate muscle anatomy

  • Three different kinds of muscles are found in vertebrate animals

  • Skeletal

  • Cardiac

  • Smooth

involuntary, striatedauto-rhythmic

voluntary, striated


moves bone


involuntary, non-striated

digestive systemarteries, veins

evolved first

Anatomy of skeletal muscle

Muscle attaches at the origin

At its other end, the insertion, the muscle tapers into a glistening white tendon

As the muscle contracts, the insertion is pulled toward the origin and the arm is straightened or extended at the elbow. Thus the triceps is an extensor.

skeletal muscle exerts force only when it contracts, a second muscle — a flexor — is needed to flex or bend the joint.

antagonistic pair of muscles work across other joints, provide for almost all the movement of the skeleton.

Anatomy of Skeletal Muscle

Muscles movement

Muscles movement

  • Muscles do work by contracting

    • skeletal muscles come in antagonistic pairs

      • flexor vs. extensor

    • contracting = shortening

      • move skeletal parts

    • tendons

      • connect bone to muscle

    • ligaments

      • connect bone to bone

Vertebrate muscle anatomy

Skeletal Muscle: The striated appearance of the muscle fiber is created by a pattern of alternating dark A bands and light I bands.

Closer look at muscle cell

Closer look at muscle cell


Transverse tubules(T-tubules)



Fig 50 29a

Motorneuron axon


Fig. 50-29a

T tubule


Sarcoplasmicreticulum (SR)


Plasma membraneof muscle fiber

Ca2+ released from SR


Muscle cell organelles

Muscle cell organelles

  • Sarcoplasm

    • muscle cell cytoplasm

    • contains many mitochondria

  • Sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR)

    • organelle similar to ER

      • network of tubes

    • stores Ca2+

      • Ca2+ released from SR through channels

      • Ca2+ restored to SR by Ca2+ pumps

        • pump Ca2+ from cytosol

        • pumps use ATP


Structure of striated skeletal muscle

Structure of striated skeletal muscle

  • Muscle Fiber

    • muscle cell

      • divided into sections = sarcomeres

  • Sarcomere

    • functional unit of muscle contraction

    • alternating bands of thin (actin) & thick (myosin) protein filaments

Muscle filaments sarcomere

Muscle filaments & Sarcomere

  • Interacting proteins

    • thin filaments

      • braided strands

        • actin

        • tropomyosin

        • troponin

    • thick filaments

      • myosin

Thin filaments actin

Thin filaments: actin

  • Complex of proteins

    • braid of actin molecules & tropomyosinfibers

      • tropomyosin fibers secured with troponin molecules

Thick filaments myosin

Thick filaments: myosin

  • Single protein

    • myosin molecule

      • long protein with globular head

bundle of myosin proteins:

globular heads aligned

Thick thin filaments

Thick & thin filaments

  • Myosin tails aligned together & heads pointed away from center of sarcomere

Fig 50 25b

Fig. 50-25b


0.5 µm

M line



Z line

Z line


Cardiac muscle

Cardiac or heart muscle resembles skeletal muscle in some ways: it is striated and each cell contains sarcomeres with sliding filaments of actin and myosin.

Cardiac Muscle

Throughout our life, it contracts some 70 times per minute pumping about 5 liters of blood each minute.

Cardiac muscle structure function

Cardiac Muscle: Structure = Function


Different electrical and membrane properties form skeletal

Cardiac cells have ion channels in their plasma membranes that cause rhythmic depolarization = triggering action potentials with no input form NS

Unique traits of cardiac muscle relate to function of pumping blood

Unique traits of cardiac muscle relate to function of pumping blood

myofibrils of each cell are branched.

The branches interlock with those of adjacent fibers by adherens junctions. These strong junctions enable the heart to contract forcefully without ripping the fibers apart.

Vertebrate muscle anatomy

  • Smooth muscle is found in the walls of all the hollow organs of the body (except the heart). Its contraction reduces the size of these structures.

    • regulates the flow of blood in the arteries

    • moves your breakfast along through your gastrointestinal tract

    • expels urine from your urinary bladder

    • sends babies out into the world from the uterus

    • regulates the flow of air through the lungs

  • The contraction of smooth muscle is generally not under voluntary control.

Fig 50 33

Longitudinalmuscle relaxed(extended)





Fig. 50-33

Head end

Head end

Head end

Vertebrate muscle anatomy

Gap junction allows for coordinated behavior= contractions

  • No striations , single cell has spindle shape

  • The contraction of smooth muscle tends to be slower than that of striated muscle.

  • often sustained for long periods.

Vertebrate muscle anatomy

  • Smooth muscle (like cardiac muscle) does not depend on motor neurons to be stimulated.

  • However, motor neurons (of the autonomic system) reach smooth muscle and can stimulate it — or relax it — depending on the neurotransmitter they release (e.g. noradrenaline or nitric oxide, NO)

  • Smooth muscle can also be made to contract by other substances released in the vicinity (paracrine stimulation)

    • Example: release of histamine causes contraction of the smooth muscle lining our air passages (triggering an attack of asthma)by hormones circulating in the blood

    • Example: oxytocin reaching the uterus stimulates it to contract to begin childbirth.

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