Skeletal muscle

The main objective of skeletal muscle is to provide mobility and support to the human body. In conjunction with bones and ligaments, it allows for consciously controlled movement.

Skeletal and heart muscle are composed of striated muscle tissue that forms parallel muscle fibers. There are two types of muscle fibers (fast and slow) depending on the type of myosin present. These fiber types can not be distinguished in an ordinary HE staining.

Development and normal activity of skeletal muscle are dependent and closely integrated with the nervous system. Skeletal muscles are attached to bone and contract voluntarily (via nerve stimulation) as opposed to the other common types of muscle, i.e. cardiac muscle and smooth muscle.

The major cell type is myocytes that have been fused during development to form large multinucleated cells. The cells are rich in mitochondria and to a large extent contain actin and myosin proteins arranged in a repeating unit called a sarcomere.