MICROSCAPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICROSCAPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light microscopy of skeletal muscle fibres in longitudinal section (left) and cross-section (right). Fibres are separated by connective tissue carrying blood vessels and nerves. A fibre is a long cylinder formed from multiple end-to-end fusions of precursor muscle cells called myoblasts. The striated appearance of dark and light bands is due to the orderly arrangement of contractile filaments called myofibrils. The dark mottled patterns in cross-sectioned fibres are mitochondria. The multiple nuclei of each fibre (i.e. a muscle cell) are displaced to the periphery and typical of skeletal muscle. Magnification x570 when printed at 10 cm.
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