Cardiac muscle is specialized tissue that is found only in the heart. It has characteristics similar to both smooth and skeletal muscle tissue, as well as specialized properties, that allow it to function with fast but sustained contractions, rapid conduction and coordinated movement.
What is the function of the cardiac muscle cell?
Cardiac muscle cells or cardiomyocytes (also known as myocardiocytes or cardiac myocytes) are the muscle cells (myocytes) that make up the cardiac muscle (heart muscle). Unlike multinucleated skeletal cells, the majority of cardiomyocytes contain only one nucleus, although they may have as many as four.
What is unique to cardiac muscle cells?
Like skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle cells are striated due to a similar arrangement of contractile proteins. Unique to the cardiac muscle are a branching morphology and the presence of intercalated discs found between muscle fibers. They are often seen as zigzagging bands cutting across the muscle fibers.