Muscle: Skeletal Muscle Connective Tissue

diagram of muscle layers

Skeletal muscle has three different connective tissue layers:

The whole muscle is enclosed by a dense connective tissue sheath called the epimysium. (Epi - greek for upon, mys - greek for muscle).

The muscle fibres are divided up into bundles of fibres called 'fascicles'.

Fibrous sheaths that surround the fascicles are called the perimysium (peri is greek for around). Blood vessels, the lymphatics and the nerves are all found in the perimysium.

Each muscle fibre is surrounded by loose connective tissue, and these contain capillaries and nerve fibres. This connective tissue covering is known as the endomysium (endon - greek for within).

The collagen fibres of these connective tissue wrappings merge with the tendons, aponeuroses, or periosteum - the dense connective tissue structures that link the muscle to bone, on which the muscle pulls. Click here to find out more about muscle tendons.