Functions of collagen in skeletal muscle

The connective tissue network of skeletal muscle has a dynamic role during muscle differentiation and normal muscle growth and it serves as a supportive structure in skeletal muscle and tendon [3,4,33,34]. Collagen forms the linkages between the muscle and its associated collagenous tissues such as tendon or fascia, and is also the fibrillar component of the cell-to-cell connections both between individual muscle cells and between the muscle cells and neighboring small blood vessels and nerves. It gives coherence and mechanical strength and also functions as an elastic, stress-tolerant system as well as distributing the forces of muscular contractions in both muscle and tendon. The tensile strength is based on intra- and intermolecular cross-links, and the orientation and density of the fibrils and fibers. In addition, collagen like the other ECM compounds conforms to the microenvironment around single muscle fibers and participates in the growth of cells and tissue regeneration after damage [35].



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