Muscle cell

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Muscle cells are also known as myocytes or muscle fibres[1]. These cells develop from myoblasts and are found in muscle tissue.

The microstructure of thses cells is unusual and new terminology had to be determined to describe their structures:

Feature Equivalent in normal cells
sarcoplasm cytoplasm
sarcoplasmic reticulum smooth endoplasmic reticulum
sarcosome mitochondrion
sarcolema cell membrane

The sarcoplasm of muscle cells is mostly composed of myofibrils, which, at the same time, are composed of three types of myofilaments[2]:

These three types of filament will work together to bring about muscle contraction.

This basic structure can be found in skeletal muscle cells, as this is where voluntary contraction takes place. Smooth muscle cells (involuntary contraction) and cardiac muscle cells are structurally different.[3]


  1. Albert D, et al (2012). Dorland's illustrated medical dictionary. (32nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier. p. 321.
  2. Saladin, K (2012). Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 403–405.
  3. Alberts et. al., 2015, Molecular Biology of the Cell Sixth Edition, New York, Garland Science, Pages 917-925

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