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Skeletal Muscle Fiber



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Quick Facts

The sarcolemma is the delicate plasma membrane that invests every striated muscle fiber (Dorland, 2011).

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The sarcolemma is the fine, delicate, extensible membrane surrounding each muscle fiber. It is composed of a cell, or plasma, membrane which presents an extracellular matrix of collagen fibrils and polysaccharides that make contact with the basal lamina. The sarcolemma also contains tunnel-like invaginations into the sarcoplasm, which are known as transverse tubules (Standring, 2016).

Key Features/Anatomical Relations

Transmembrane proteins found within the sarcolemma facilitate a physical connection between the actin cytoskeleton of the muscle fiber and the extracellular basal lamina (Martini et al., 2017).


Like other types of cell membranes, the sarcolemma forms a defined barrier between extracellular and intracellular environments.


Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

Martini, F. H., Nath, J. L. and Bartholomew, E. F. (2017) Fundamentals of Anatomy & Physiology. Pearson Education.

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Gray's Anatomy Series: Elsevier Limited.

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