Sacroplasmic reticulum

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The Sarcoplasmic Reticulum (SR) is present in all types of muscle cell (cardiac, smooth and skeletal) and is a form of modified endoplasmic reticulum [1]. It contains an essential store of Ca2+ ions; when the SR is stimulated these ions are released to initiate a contraction in the muscle. In other words, the sarcoplasmic reticulum regulates the intracellular concentration of calcium ions [2].

In cardiac and skeletal muscle cells the SR surrounds the myofibril and release their Ca2+ ions at areas known as terminal cisternae. Terminal cisternae are the part of the sarcoplasmic reticumlum nearest T-tubules. Skeletal and cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulums are similar in this way; however cardiac cells SRs are undeveloped and less dense in comparisson to skeletal cells [3].

Smooth muscle cells also contain a sarcoplasmic reticulum that extends throughout the cell, in contrast to the other muscle types though, smooth muscles do not contain T-tubules and instead have junctional regions of the sarcoplasmic reticulum that abut areas of the sarcolema or caveolae [4]. Furthermore, Ca2+ ions are not only released from the SR in smooth muscle cells but also come from the extracellular fluid during musclular contraction [5].

References

  1. D.U. Silverthorn, 2010, Human Physiology An Integrated Approach, 5th Edition, Sanfrancisco, Pearson. Page 408
  2. B. M. Koeppen and B. A. Stanton, 2008, Berne and Levy Physiology, 6th Edition, Canada: Mosby Elesevier. Page 234.
  3. B. M. Koeppen and B. A. Stanton, 2008, Berne and Levy Physiology, 6th Edition, Canada: Mosby Elesevier. Page 258
  4. B. M. Koeppen and B. A. Stanton, 2008, Berne and Levy Physiology, 6th Edition, Canada: Mosby Elesevier. Page 271.
  5. D.U. Silverthorn, 2010, Human Physiology An Integrated Approach, 5th Edition, Sanfrancisco, Pearson. Page 434.
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