Bock, Walter J. Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Rainford, Patricia Natural History Museum, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California.
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- Smooth muscle
- Cardiac muscle
- Skeletal muscle
- Mechanistic model
- Sarcoplasmic reticulum
- Calcium sensor
- Contractile apparatus
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A contractile organ composed of tissue that changes in length and effects movement when stimulated. Muscle tissue is composed of contractile fibers and is the body tissue in which cellular contractility has become most apparent (Fig. 1). Although almost all forms of protoplasm exhibit some degree of contractility, the specialization in muscle fibers has led to the preeminence of this property. In vertebrates, three major types of muscle are recognized: smooth, cardiac, and skeletal. See also: Muscle development and regeneration; Muscular system
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