Physical Education - Basic muscle physiology: interior components
Components of muscle cells
Every muscle cell contains a series of common components that are directly
associated with contraction in some way, and are influenced by training
. The basics are briefly described below:
* membrane  - controls what enters and leaves the cell. Contains
regulatory proteins that are influenced by hormones like epinephrine
(adrenalin) and insulin. The blood concentration of these hormones greatly
influences fuel utilisation by the muscle cell.
* - consist of actin  (thick) and myosin  (thin) filaments. This
is the part of each muscle cell that actually produces force. All of the
rest of the machinery plays a supporting or repair function.
* - the fluid medium of the cell. Provides a medium for diffusion of
oxygen, ATP, etc. within the cell interior.
* Mitochondria  - the organelles in each muscle cell that contain
oxidative enzymes and actually that can be used by the cell to support
contraction. Ultimately, via enzymatic processes occurring first in the
cytosol and then the mitochondria, glucose and fat molecules (and certain
amino acids ) are broken down and combined with oxygen to form . Each
by-product has significance to the exercising athlete.
* - not actually part of the muscle cell. The capillaries physically
link the muscle and the cardiovascular system. Each muscle cell may have
from 3 to 6 capillaries directly associated with it, depending on fibre
type and training.
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