Relaxed and contracted muscle fibers
Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger,
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed
Human, Helly's fluid, Mallory-azan stain, 1416 x.
This is a longitudinal section of cardiac muscle stained with Mallory-azan, which differentiates muscular tissue (red-brown) from collagenous connective tissue (blue).
Several muscle fibers are seen. A vesicular nucleus is seen in one. The muscle fibers are separated by narrow spaces containing delicate strands of collagen fibers. Each muscle fiber is formed of subunits, the myofibrils. To the extreme left of the figure, a muscle fiber in the relaxed state is shown. Note the distinct striations. Adjacent to this fiber is another relaxed fiber except for a small area of localized contraction. Note that the muscle striations are less distinct in the contracted area. in the middle of the plate is a contracted fiber in which the striation pattern is indistinct, although the Z lines are evident.
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