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Muscular Tissue – Structure, Functions, Types and Characteristics

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Muscular tissue is a type of tissue present in animals that is specialized for contraction and movement. Muscular tissue is one of the four main types of tissues, the others being epithelial, connective, and nervous tissue. Muscular tissue is made up of muscle fibers. Three types of muscular tissues are: skeletal, smooth, and cardiac.

What is Muscle Tissue?

Muscle tissue is engaged with delivering force and creating movement, either for the movements or for other body developments inside interior organs. There are three assortments of muscle tissue:

  • Skeletal Muscles—they’re normally joined to bones
  • Strong Tissue—viewed as inside the middle.
  • Smooth Muscle—they’re tracked down inside the inward walls of organs like the anus, or alimentary canal.

Muscular Tissue Diagram

Muscular Tissue Diagram


Solid tissue is a particular tissue in creatures that applies powers to various pieces of the body by compression. It comprises slight and prolonged cells called muscle strands. It controls the development of a life form.

The cytoplasm in the muscle filaments is called sarcoplasm. It contains an organization of membranes called the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The membrane encompassing the muscle strands is called sarcolemma.

Properties of Muscular Tissue

  • Contractibility: It is the capacity of muscle cells to powerfully abbreviate.
  • Extensibility: A muscle can be extended.
  • Elasticity: The muscles can regain their original length after stretching.
  • Excitability: The muscle tissue reacts to the external stimulus carried by motor neurons.
  • Highly vascularized: Muscular tissue is richly supplied with blood vessels, which provide oxygen and nutrients to the tissue and remove waste products.
  • Striated or smooth appearance: Depending on the type of muscular tissue, it may have a striped or smooth appearance under a microscope. Skeletal and cardiac muscle tissue are striated, while smooth muscle tissue is not.

The characteristics of muscular tissue allow for efficient and coordinated movement, as well as the performance of other important physiological functions.

Types of Muscular Tissue

The muscular tissue is of three sorts:

  • Skeletal muscle Tissue
  • Smooth Muscle Tissue
  • Cardiovascular Muscle Tissue

Skeletal/ Striated Muscle Tissue

  • Skeletal Muscles are joined with the skeleton and help in the movement of the organism.
  • Skeletal Muscles are also called striated muscles because of their striped appearance i.e. alternate patterns of light and dark bands in their cells under a microscope.
  • Almost 40% of the body mass of a body is comprised of skeletal muscle.
  • Striated muscle tissue contained myofibrils.
  • Striated muscles cell are multinucleated.
  • Blood vessels, elongated mitochondria, and glycogen-containing granules are present in skeletal muscles.
  • Organism movement is done via skeletal muscles.

Smooth Muscle Tissue

  • Smooth muscles are non-striated, controlled via Autonomous Nervous System as these are involuntary muscles
  • It animates the contractility of the stomach-related, urinary, conceptive frameworks, veins, and aviation routes.
  • The actin and myosin fibers are extremely thin and arranged randomly, thus no striations.
  • Smooth muscle cells are spindle-shaped and are single nucleated.

Heart/ Cardiac Muscle Tissue

  • As the name suggests cardiac they are only present in the heart.
  • The heart pumps blood due to the contraction of cardiac muscle. 
  • Cardiac muscles are involuntary muscles.
  • The cells of the cardiovascular muscles also known as cardiomyocytes are striated.
  • Cardiac muscle cells are uninucleated and single cells.
  • The cardiac cells are joined together with the junction known as desmosomes. The end part of the cell is joined with another cell via a junction known as an intercalated disc.

Also Read: Cell-Cell Interaction

Muscular Tissue Function

  • Muscular tissue is responsible for the movement of the body and its internal organs of an organism.
  • Skeletal muscles are responsible for maintaining the posture of the body and supporting the weight. 
  • Muscular tissue produces heat as a byproduct of metabolic processes. The heat helps to maintain body temperature.
  • Some muscular tissues can also provide protection to internal organs. 
  • Muscles can be found in and around openings in the body.

FAQs on Muscular Tissue

Q1: What are the 3 types of muscular tissue?


The 3 types of muscular tissue are:

  1. Smooth Muscle
  2. Cardiac Muscle
  3. Skeletal Muscle

Q2: What are muscle tissue and its importance?


Muscle tissue is a type of tissue present in organs. Muscle helps in movement and contraction.

Question 3: What are the various kinds of muscle fibers?


There are three sorts of muscle fibers:

  • Red/Fast 
  • Red/Slow 
  • White/Fast 
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Last Updated : 09 May, 2023
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