Types of muscle cells and analysis of their differences in terms of physiology. They contain protein filaments of myosin and actin that help in production of force and motion.
Types of muscle cells and analysis of their differences in terms of physiology
Muscles cells are important in the functioning of the human bodies. They contain protein filaments of myosin and actin that help in production of force and motion. They are therefore essential in maintaining and changing the locomotion, posture and the movement of internal organs such as movement of blood in the digestive system and contraction of the heart. This paper delineates on the three types of muscle cells and analyses their differences in terms of physiology.
The three types of muscles cells include skeletal muscle, smooth muscle and cardiac muscle. These three types of muscles are identified based on their contractile properties, control mechanisms and structure (Stein carter, 2014). Skeletal muscles are broadly categorized into two groups: slow and fast twitch. Slow twitch are red muscles, dense with capillaries and have myoglobin and mitochondria that gives the muscle tissues the red color. On the other hand, fast twitch are categorized into three subtypes and vary in terms of their contractile speed as well as speed generated. The white muscle is least dense in myoglobin and mitochondria (GPC, 2014).
Most of the skeletal muscles are attached to bones and therefore, when they contract, they help to support and move the skeletons. Their contraction is initiated by the impulses found in the neurons to the muscles, and is often under voluntary control. Smooth muscles surround different tubes and organs, including intestines, the stomach, uterus, urinary bladder, blood vessels, and airways located in the lungs. When the smooth muscles that surround hollow organs contract, they propel luminal contents through the organs or regulate the internal flow through changing the diameter of the tube (MedlinePlus, 2014). Furthermore, small bundles of smooth muscle cells are attached to the iris of the eye and to the hairs of skin. The automatic nervous system, autocrine/paracrine, hormones and other local chemical signals control contraction of these muscle cells. Like the skeletal muscles, smooth muscles are not normally under voluntary control. Cardiac muscle is the heart muscle. The contraction of this muscle propels the blood through the circulatory system. Similar to the smooth muscle, this cardiac muscle is regulated by autonomic nervous system, autocrine/paracrine agents and hormones, and can undergo spontaneous contractions.
Even though these muscles have similarities in terms of the force generating mechanism, they have a number of differences. Contraction of skeletal muscles is stimulated by electrical impulses and is transmitted by motoneurons, while contraction of cardiac and smooth muscles is stimulated by the internal pacemaker cells that propagate and contract regularly to other muscles cells in contact. Many of the smooth muscles and all skeletal muscles cell contraction is enhanced or facilitated by neurotransmitter acetylcholine (Chapter, 2013).
In the skeletal muscles, ATP plays various functions in muscle contraction. Hydrolysis of ATP by myosin provides energy to the cross-bridges that provide energy for force generation acetylcholine (Chapter, 2013). The cycle of activity is repeated through the binding of ATP myosin dissociating cross bridges bound to actin, allowing repetition of bridges. On the other hand, cross bridge cycling in smooth muscle is controlled by calcium regulated enzyme that posphorylates myosin. In the smooth muscle, contractile activity is influenced by the spontaneous electrical activity found in the plasma membrane of the muscle fiber. Other input influences are hormones during stretching, neurotransmitters released by autonomic neurons and induced changes in chemical composition (Chapter 2013).
In conclusion, there are different types of muscles that perform different roles in the body. The major types of these muscles are skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscles. The three are identified through their structure, contractile properties and control mechanisms. They also differ in terms of their physiology, but all function to enhance movement of internal and external organs, posture and locomotion.
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