By W G P Mair and F M S Tomé (Auth.)
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Additional info for Atlas of the Ultrastructure of Diseased Human Muscle
At the margins of adjacent muscle fibres which are not separated by basement membrane dense zones occur: these are the intercalated discs. The muscle fibre to the left of the illustration has numerous vesicles under its plasma membrane. MAGNIFICATION 12,500 x. From the auricle of a human foetus of 16 weeks development. LOWER. Adult. In the adult heart the intercalated discs between adjacent myocardial cells are very extensive and the contiguous surfaces of the cells are very tortuous, without any basement membrane intervening between the cells.
Why the satellite cells become more frequent in diseased muscle is not known, nor is it clear why in normal muscle the satellite cells remain in a stationary stage of development. Regarding the regeneration of muscle, it is well known, especially in inflammatory diseases, that some muscle fibres with well-formed myofibrils exhibit in addition numerous fine filaments and large numbers of ribosomes and polysomes scattered throughout an abundance of sarcoplasm as illustrated in Plate 52. These particular changes in the sarcoplasm suggest regeneration rather than degeneration of the muscle fibres.
Degenerative changes of the myofibrils involve the myofilaments and the Z-lines. The myofibrils often become reduced in diameter with a relative increase of the intervening sarcoplasm. Loss of myofilaments may involve one or more sarcomeres (Plate 19) and is sometimes more apparent in the I-band, especially in muscular dystrophy (Plate 70). Part of the Z-line may persist after the filaments of the I-band have disappeared (Plate 19). These degenerative changes of the myofibrils may be reflected in the configuration of the muscle fibre, the surface of which often becomes very indented or presents sarcoplasmic projections (Plate 20).
Atlas of the Ultrastructure of Diseased Human Muscle by W G P Mair and F M S Tomé (Auth.)