Cell body Supporting cells
■ Figure 1.10 A photomicrograph of nerve tissue. A single neuron and numerous smaller supporting cells can be seen.
bronchioles (small air passages in the lungs), and in the ducts of the urinary and reproductive systems. Circular arrangements of smooth muscle in these organs produce constriction of the lumen (cavity) when the muscle cells contract. The digestive tract also contains longitudinally arranged layers of smooth muscle. The series of wavelike contractions of circular and longitudinal layers of muscle known as peristalsis pushes food from one end of the digestive tract to the other.
The three types of muscle tissue are discussed further in chapter 12.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.