PMID: 5893685Aug 1, 1965

The sarcoplasmic reticulum, the T system, and the motor terminals of slow and twitch muscle fibers in the garter snake

The Journal of Cell Biology
A Hess


Twitch and slow muscle fibers, identified morphologically in the garter snake, have been examined in the electron microscope. The transverse tubular system and the sarcoplasmic reticulum are separate entities distinct from each other. In twitch fibers, the tubular system and the dilated sacs of the sarcoplasmic reticulum form triads at the level of junction of A and I bands. In the slow fibers, the sarcoplasmic reticulum is severely depleted in amount and the transverse tubular system is completely absent. The junctional folds of the postsynaptic membrane of the muscle fiber under an "en grappe" ending of a slow fiber are not so frequent or regular in occurrence or so wide or so long as under the "en plaque" ending of a twitch fiber. Some physiological implications of these differences in fine structure of twitch and slow fibers are discussed. The absence of the transverse tubular system and reduction in amount of sarcoplasmic reticulum, along with the consequent disposition of the fibrils, the occurrence of multiple nerve terminals, and the degree of complexity of the post junctional folds of the sarcolemma appear to be the morphological basis for the physiological reaction of slow muscle fibers.


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Jun 1, 1962·The Journal of Cell Biology·J A FREEMAN, B O SPURLOCK
Sep 1, 1964·The Journal of Cell Biology·C FRANZINI-ARMSTRONG, K R PORTER
Dec 1, 1961·The Journal of Biophysical and Biochemical Cytology·G MILLONIG
Apr 1, 1962·The Journal of Cell Biology·L D PEACHEY, A F HUXLEY


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