Cardiac Muscle Intercalated Discs

Function of the Intercalated Discs

Posted on 5/5/2010 5:33:41 PM

The heart of the human beings is made up of cardiac muscles which are different from smooth and skeletal muscles. Inside the cardiac muscles is the intercalated discs which is known to join various adjacent cells together. There are a number of functions of intercalated discs. It is only when it functions properly that the heart can work effectively.

The human heart is made up of cardiac muscle. Since the muscles primarily contract so they lead the muscle cells to shorten up. In function the cardiac muscles are said to be similar to the smooth muscles. But in anatomy, they tend to be quite different as in this regard cardiac muscles are said to be more similar to the skeletal muscles. So the cardiac muscles can be said to be a combination of the two other muscle types. In fact in terms of appearance, structure, metabolism there are various similarities to be found between these muscles.

What are Cardiac Muscles

Cardiac muscles are said to be the striated muscles which are found in the walls of the heart. They are also called as cardiac myocytes. When these muscles function effectively only then the heart too can perform all its functions properly. It is only when the cardiac muscles contracts accordingly that it enables the proper circulation of the blood from the atria and ventricles to the circulatory system of the body. These muscles also help in the removal of waste products from the body like carbon dioxide.

Intercalated Discs and their Functions

Intercalated discs are known to be located inside the cardiac muscles. They are considered to be very important as they work as a connecting link between the two adjacent cardiac cells. Their aim is to help a number of cardiac cells in contracting since when it is done, the heart can function effectively so it is very much essential. When the cardiac muscles are stretched a bit, they are known to perform even slightly better.

In the intercalated discs the various cardiac cells are said to be intertwined to each other followed by gap junctions. This position helps in the stabilisation of the positions of the cells as well as helps to maintain the three dimensional structure of the cells. The intercalated disc is made up of double membrane. It is easy to identify them owing to the longitudinal section of the tissue of which they are made up.

Basically, the intercalated disc consists of three types of membrane junctions- these include Fascia Adherens, Macual Adherens, Gap Junctions. These three membrane junctions have their own functions and in fact help in the effective working of the intercalated disc.

The good thing is that with the help of a powerful microscope you can easily recognise the intercalated disc in the cardiac muscles.

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Name: Al Cavan Batuhan

thanks for the information. It would help me a lot to my assignment in Biology

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