The muscular system controls numerous functions, which is possible with the significant differentiation of muscle tissue morphology and ability.
Describe the three types of muscle tissue
The muscular system is responsible for functions such as maintenance of posture, locomotion, and control of various circulatory systems.
Muscle tissue can be divided functionally (voluntarily or involuntarily controlled) and morphologically (striated or non-striated).
These classifications describe three distinct muscle types: skeletal, cardiac and smooth. Skeletal muscle is voluntary and striated, cardiac muscle is involuntary and striated, and smooth muscle is involuntary and non-striated.
The muscular system is made up of
muscle tissue and is responsible for functions such as maintenance of posture,
locomotion and control of various circulatory systems. This includes the beating of
the heart and the movement of food through the digestive system.
The muscular system is closely associated with the skeletal system in facilitating
movement. Both voluntary and involuntary muscular system functions are controlled by the nervous system.
Muscle is a highly-specialized soft tissue that produces tension which results in the generation of force. Muscle cells,
or myocytes, contain myofibrils comprised of actin and myosinmyofilaments
which slide past each other producing tension that changes the shape of the
myocyte. Numerous myocytes make up muscle tissue and the controlled production
of tension in these cells can generate significant force.
Muscle tissue can be classified functionally as voluntary or involuntary
and morphologically as striated or non-striated. Voluntary refers to whether the
muscle is under conscious control, while striation refers to the presence of visible
banding within myocytes caused by the organization of myofibrils to
produce constant tension.
Types of Muscle
The above classifications describe three forms of muscle tissue that perform a wide range of diverse functions.
Skeletal muscle mainly attaches to the skeletal system via
tendons to maintain posture and control movement. For example, contraction of the
biceps muscle, attached to the scapula and radius, will raise the forearm. Some
skeletal muscle can attach directly to other muscles or to the skin, as seen in
the face where numerous muscles control facial expression.
Skeletal muscle is under voluntary control, although this
can be subconscious when maintaining posture or balance. Morphologically
skeletal myocytes are elongated and tubular and appear striated with multiple peripheral
Cardiac Muscle Tissue
Cardiac muscle tissue is found only in the heart, where
cardiac contractions pump blood throughout the body and maintain blood
As with skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle is striated; however
it is not consciously controlled and so is classified as involuntary. Cardiac muscle can be
further differentiated from skeletal muscle by the presence of intercalated
discs that control the synchronized contraction of cardiac tissues. Cardiac myocytes
are shorter than skeletal equivalents and contain only one or two centrally
Smooth Muscle Tissue
Smooth muscle tissue is associated with numerous organs and tissue systems, such as the digestive system and respiratory system.
It plays an important role in the regulation of flow in such systems, such as aiding the movement of food through the digestive system via
Smooth muscle is non-striated and involuntary. Smooth muscle
myocytes are spindle shaped with a single centrally located nucleus.