Muscle and Nervous Tissues

Photomicrographs and descriptions prepared by Jim Campbell.

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Muscle Tissues

Skeletal Muscle Tissue (400X)

skeletal muscle tissue 400x

Skeletal muscle tissue is so-called because it attaches to bones and is involved in the movement of bones. It is also referred to as voluntary muscle because of the voluntary control of its contraction, and/or as striated muscle because of its striated appearance when you look at it through a light microscope at high magnification.

Notice the striated appearance of this tissue and the location of the nuclei at the edge of the fiber.

Skeletal Muscle Tissue:

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Smooth Muscle Tissue (400X)

smooth muscle tissue 400x

Smooth muscle is composed of elongated cells that are not striated. Each smooth muscle cell is largest at its midpoint and tapered towards its ends. Each cell has a single nucleus located in the middle (or broadest) part of the cell.

Notice the position of the single nucleus in the central, broadest, portion of the fiber.

Notice also that the fibers are nonstriated.

Smooth Muscle Tissue:

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Cardiac Muscle Tissue (400X)

adipose tissue 100x

Cardiac muscle is composed of striated fibers that are bifurcated or branched. The nuclei are centrally located. The presence of darkly stained intercalated discs is a good identification characteristis.

Cardiac Muscle Tissue:

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Nervous Tissue

Nervous Tissue (100X)

adipose tissue 100x

Two basic types of cells are found in nervous tissue. Neurons are large cells that function to conduct impulses from one part of the nervous system to another (example: from the spinal cord to the brain). Neuroglia are small cells that "glue" the neurons together (they have many other functions as well).

Notice the large cell body with a conspicuous nucleus. The axon and dendrite (cell processes) are easily seen.

Nervous Tissue:

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