Muscle Fibre

Muscle Fibre (or muscle fiber, Am.Sp.) is a term that is often used interchangeably with muscle cell.

Muscle fibres are multinucleate, which means that they have many nuclei - see diagram below. Muscle fibres also have many myofibrils. There are hundreds of myofibrils in each muscle fibre.

Labelled diagram of a muscle cell Cell Nucleus Sarcolemma Sarcoplasm Muscle Filaments Muscle Fibre Fascicle Myofibril Striations Striations

Above: Simple diagram of the structure of a muscle fibre

Muscle fibres are the basic functional units of muscle tissue - which is special because it has the ability to contract, producing movement or force.

There are three main types of muscle tissue.
They are:

Muscle fibres are common to all of these.

This section consists of short summaries about the structures that form the muscles of the body. This list is not exhaustive but is intended to be appropriate for students of A-Level Human Biology, ITEC courses in massage and related subjects, and other courses in health sciences. For more general information about muscles see the pages about:

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