Basic Histology -- Smooth Muscle, Longitudinal Section

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Smooth muscle cells are called "fibers". You'll always see them in parallel.

Don't expect every fiber in a section to exhibit a nucleus. In many, the nucleus will be out of the plane of section. (You may already have noticed this when looking at epithelium.)

Smooth muscle is not normally under your voluntary control. (Some people say that you can learn to control it using biofeedback.) Smooth muscle gives goosebumps, constricts the pupils, constricts the nipples, and shrivels a man's scrotum during a cold shower.

Less conspicuous but probably more important is the role of smooth muscle in moving food through your gut, regulating the diameters of arteries to determine tissue blood flow, and returning blood to the heart through the constriction of veins.

Telling smooth muscle from fibrous connective tissue (especially tendon / aponeurosis) is one of your first big challenges.

This is smooth muscle.

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