• A low power view of normal skeletal muscle.
• Notice the overall pink stain that is characteristic of
• Careful examination of this reveals that it is made up of polygonal cells assembled in bundles separated by fine connective tissue in which blood vessels can be seen.
|Normal skeletal muscle|
|General Gross Description|
•Skeletal muscle is deep brown in color due to the presence
of a pigmented protein called myoglobin.
•Grossly, skeletal muscles can be small (as in the muscles of the ear and eye) or large (gluteus maximus) or long (sartorius).
|General Micro Description|
•Skeletal muscle is in reality a syncytium.
•A single "muscle cell" is, in fact, composed of several
hundred cells that have fused to give rise to a long
fiber that can be several microns to several
•The longest muscle fibers in the human body are in the
sartorius muscle of the thigh.
•In longitudinal sections, skeletal muscle fibres
characteristically demonstrate alternating dark and
light-staining bands, giving them a
•In cross section, skeletal muscle cells of the adult
are polygonal, while those of children and certain muscles of face, even in adults, are roughly circular.
•Numerous nuclei are seen in the periphery closely
applied to the plasma membrane also called the
•The presence of nuclei in the center of the cell is
abnormal and usually indicative of pathology.
•In cross section, the muscle cytoplasm is uniformly deeply eosinophilic.
|Bloom and Fawcett: A textbook of Histology. 12th
Edition. Chapman & Hall. 1994. pp 266|