Structure of a skeletal muscle. (Endomysium labeled at bottom center.)
The endomysium, meaning within the muscle, is a wispy layer of areolar connective tissue that ensheaths each individual myocyte (muscle fiber, or muscle cell). It also contains capillaries and nerves. It overlies the muscle fiber's cell membrane: the sarcolemma. Endomysium is the deepest and smallest component of connective tissue.
This thin layer provides the correct chemical environment for the exchange of calcium, sodium, and potassium. The exchange of these ions leads to the excitation of the muscle fiber.
Endomysium combines with perimysium and epimysium to create the collagen fibers of tendons, providing the tissue connection between muscles and bones by indirect attachment.
The elastic fiber of collagen is the major protein that composes connective tissues like endomysium. Endomysium has been shown to contain mainly type I and type II collagen components, and type IV and type V in very minor amounts.
- Saladin, K. S. (2012). Anatomy and Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.[page needed]
- Light, N; Champion, A. E. (1984). "Characterization of muscle epimysium, perimysium and endomysium collagens" (PDF). The Biochemical journal 219 (3): 1017–26. PMC 1153576. PMID 6743238.
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- UIUC Histology Subject 777
- Illustration at wku.edu
- Anatomy photo: Musculoskeletal/muscle/skeletal1/skeletal3 - Comparative Organology at University of California, Davis
- MedEd at Loyola histo/practical/muscle/hp7-42.html
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