Cardiac Muscle Tissue

Cardiac muscle tissue (fig. 5.30) is only in the heart. Its cells, which are striated, are joined end-to-end. The resulting muscle cells are branched and interconnected in complex networks. Each cell within a cardiac muscle fiber has a single nucleus. Where it touches another cell is a specialized intercellular junction called an intercalated disk, seen only in cardiac tissue.

Cardiac muscle, like smooth muscle, is controlled involuntarily and, in fact, can continue to function without being stimulated by nerve impulses. This tissue makes up the bulk of the heart and pumps blood through the heart chambers and into blood vessels.

List the general characteristics of muscle tissue.

Distinguish among skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscle tissues.

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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