Excitation Is Conducted From Cell To Cell Through Gap Junctions

Figure 2 is a micrograph of adjacent contractile cells from the ventricle. Like all striated muscle, ventricular muscle has the typical pattern of cross striations because of its highly organized contractile

Gap Junction Action Potential

FIGURE 2 An electron micrograph of ventricular muscle. The sliding filaments display the I, A, and Z bands. A T tubule is indicated by T and the mitochondria are indicated by M. Detail D shows a desmosome on the transverse aspect of the intercalated disc between two myocytes. Inset GJ shows a gap junction on the longitudinal aspect of the intercalated disc. Electrical activation spreads from one cardiac cell to the next via gap junctions. (Modified from Goodman SR. Medical cell biology. Philadelphia: JP Lippincott, 1994.)

FIGURE 2 An electron micrograph of ventricular muscle. The sliding filaments display the I, A, and Z bands. A T tubule is indicated by T and the mitochondria are indicated by M. Detail D shows a desmosome on the transverse aspect of the intercalated disc between two myocytes. Inset GJ shows a gap junction on the longitudinal aspect of the intercalated disc. Electrical activation spreads from one cardiac cell to the next via gap junctions. (Modified from Goodman SR. Medical cell biology. Philadelphia: JP Lippincott, 1994.)

proteins (see Chapter 7 and Fig. 3). The region at which the cell membranes of adjacent myocytes adjoin is termed the intercalated disc. The myocytes are arranged in the heart in a staggered pattern, much like bricks in a wall. The intercalated discs occur at the junction between the myocytes and would be analogous to the mortar between the bricks. The discs run transversely where the ends of two adjacent myocytes abut. The disc then turns 90° and runs longitudinally between the myocytes until another end-abutment begins. The

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