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Striated muscle

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Definition

noun, plural: striated muscles

A muscle that is made up of long fibers characterized by transverse or oblique striations, or alternating light and dark bands under the microscope.


Supplement

This characteristic appearance under a microscope is due to a number of sarcomeres or an array of overlapping thick (myosin) and thin (actin) filaments within each muscle cell. Its function is concerned with the movement of skeletal structures. This kind of muscle is exemplified by the voluntary (skeletal) muscles of vertebrates.


Word origin: striated: L striātus furrowed, fluted; muscle: L. musculus "a muscle," lit. "little mouse," dim. of mus "mouse".

Compare: smooth muscle.
See also: skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, slow muscle.