Histology Guide

virtual microscopy laboratory

Chapter 4 - Muscle Tissue

Muscle tissue is composed of cells that maintain the contractile function of connective tissue. Three types of muscle tissue are recognized based on their structure, function, and location:

In all types of muscle, contraction is caused by the movement of myosin filaments along actin filaments.

The terms muscle fiber and muscle cell are synonymous.

Skeletal Muscle

Skeletal muscle fibers are cylindrical, multinucleated, striated, and under voluntary control.

Cardiac Muscle

Cardiac muscle has branching fibers, a single, centrally located nucleus, show the same striations as skeletal muscle, and are under involuntary control.

Smooth Muscle

Smooth muscle cells are spindle-shaped (fusiform), have a single, centrally located nucleus, lack striations, and are under involuntary control.