Anatomy of Cardiac Muscles
Cardiac muscles is a type of muscle found only in the walls of the heart and is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body - the function being transportation and the transportation vehicle being blood. The heart is approximately the size of your fist, is very strong and resistant to fatigue as it works constantly, day and night, throughout your life.
Although, cardiac muscle is just about completely dependant upon oxygen to function whereas skeletal muscle can function using stored glycogen as fuel. Cardiac muscle therefore can get damaged easily and death can occur whenever there is a lack of oxygen.
Cardiac muscles are one of three muscle types found in the body:
1. Skeletal muscle
Skeletal muscle controls the body's movement and is generally under conscious, or voluntary control
2. Smooth muscle
The internal organs, on the other hand, with the exception of the heart, are made of smooth muscle, which works without conscious effort.
3. Cardiac muscle
Cardiac muscle has a similarity to the smooth muscle in that it beats involuntary, without conscious effort from you.
The cardiac muscle is created from the same striated muscle fibers as skeletal muscles, yet the muscle tissue of the skeletal muscle is both structurally and functionally varied and segregated from each other.
Cardiac muscle also differs from both skeletal muscle and smooth muscle in that its cells branch and are joined to one another via intercalated disks. These intercalated disks allow for communication between the cardiomyocytes. Intercalated disks are described to have 3 different cell to cell junctions:
1. Adherens junctions
3. Gap junctions
The myocardium is considered as one single functioning unit, the most muscular part of the heart and mainly responsible for its contractions.
Cardiac muscle differs from the other two muscle types in that contraction can occur even without an initial nervous input. The cells that produce the stimulation for contraction without nervous input are called the pacemaker cells. The pacemaker is only responsible for the beating of the heart, not the heart rate. This allows the heart to continue to function even if the nerves are severed, as in the case of a heart transplant.
More articles on your muscular system
- Overview Of Muscle Types
Muscular system Indeed, rippling muscles of a weight lifter is often the first thing that may come to your mind when you think of the word muscle. The word muscle is actually derived of the Latin word...
- Anatomy of Skeletal Muscles
Skeletal muscles are associated with movements of the body and these movements are the results of the unique characteristics of skeletal muscle cells. In the previous article we looked at the three types...
- Anatomy of Smooth Muscles
Smooth muscle gets its name from the fact that it lacks the striations characteristics of cardiac and skeletal muscles and consists of small cells each with a single and central nucleus. Layers of smooth...