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Intercalated discs

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Intercalated disc

An electron dense junctional complex, at the end to end contacts of cardiac muscle cells, that contains gap junctions and desmosomes. most of the disc is formed of a convoluted fascia adherens type of junction into which the actin filaments of the terminal sarcomeres insert (they are therefore equivalent to half Z bands), desmosomes are also present. The lateral portion of the stepped disc contains gap junctions that couple the cells electrically and thus coordinate the contraction.