Movement processes

Movement processes

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The sliding filament theory

H. Nieredgerke (1954)

The sliding filament theory states that parallel fibrils slide past each other during muscle contraction, shortening the length of the fiber.

This can easily be demonstrated microscopically: under the microscope, muscle fibers show a banding, the so-called A-bands (from anisotropic) appear dark, while I-bands (from isotropic) appear light. During the contraction, the length of the A-bands does not change, while the I-bands more or less disappear.

(A-bands have a length of approx. 1.47 µm, a sarcomer is shortened from 3.1 to 2.4 µm)


Huxley, A. F .; Nieredgerke, R. M. (1954):Structural changes in muscle during contraction; interference microscopy of living muscle fibers. In: Nature. 173, 971-973
Huxley, H. E .; Henson, J. (1954):Changes in the cross-striations of muscle during contraction and stretch and their structural interpretation. 173, 973-976

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