Histology - Muscle

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Skeletal muscle.

Muscle cells are much longer than they are broad, and present different appearances in transverse and longitudinal sections. It is important to recognise them both types of sections. Skeletal muscle is the easiest to start with.

Skeletal muscle can be seen as a separate slide or as a part of other organs. In the collection that you have in the boxes, slides of organs with skeletal muscle may be more illustrative than skeletal muscle sections. However, take a good look at both. The slides include #58 (skeletal muscle l.s. and t.s.), #64 (oesophagus) and #91 (tongue). The slide of oesophagus may present some difficulty as it may have a mixture of skeletal and smooth muscle.

1. This picture shows a mixture of longitudinal and transverse sections of skeletal muscles (H&E), under the lowest magnification (4x).
Note the effect of shrinkage - clear gaps between bundles of muscle cells. In TS, even individual cells can be seen as separate.
What are the cells on either side of the question mark?


2. This is a part of the same section at a higher magnification, mainly showing cells cut longitudinally. The long rectangle shows a part of one muscle cell. Note the cross striations. Remember, the 'peripheral' nuclei of skeletal muscle cannot be unequivocally identified in a longitudinal section.
At the bottom are some cells in t.s.
What is 'C'?


3. Same picture as '2' above, but seen with reduced light - the iris diaphragm has been closed down a bit. This trick often allows us to see the striations better.

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