MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart muscle. Light micrograph of a longitudinal section through heart (cardiac) muscle. Individual cells (fibres) are running from top to bottom and contain 1-2 nuclei (oval). Cross striations (faint stripes) on the fibres are due to the arrangement of the contractile proteins. The junctions between individual cells are the intercalated discs (dark lines). These discs have low electrical resistance which allows contractions to spread rapidly through the muscle. Connective tissue rich in blood fills the spaces between the cells reflecting the heart's high demand for oxygen. Magnification x300 at 5x7cm size.
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