Lateral rectus cross section
Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger,
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed
Cat, glutaraldehyde-osmium fixation,
toluidine blue stain, 162 x.
Epimysium: Envelope primarily composed of collagenous connective tissue wrapping the entire muscle.
Perimysium: Connective tissue partitions between bundles, or fascicles, of muscle fibers.
White fibers (A fibers): Also known in the human as Type II fibers. These large fibers demonstrate pronounced myofibrillar ATPase activity and glycogen stores. These fibers are fast contracting.
Red fibers (B fibers): Also known in the human as Type I fibers. Characteristically smaller than white fibers, they contain numerous mitochondria and lipid stores. These fibers are slow contracting. See Plate 9.
Note the variation in fiber diameter. Normally, skeletal muscle fibers vary from 10 to 100 µm in diameter, depending upon muscle and species.
Nerve fibers: Somatic motor nerve fibers are distributed in the connective tissue septa of the muscle. These terminate on individual muscle fibers (see Plates 117, 118 and 119).
Capillaries: Widely distributed in the connective tissue septa (endomysium) between and around individual muscle fibers. Blood cells are seen within some capillaries.
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