The key difference between contractile and noncontractile tissue is that the contractile tissue can contract while the noncontractile tissue lacks the ability to contract and relax.
The musculoskeletal system is an important tissue system in our body that provides support and movement. It consists of two main systems namely the muscular system and skeletal system. Among these two, the skeleton system comprises hard tissues that are bones and cartilages. Whereas, the muscular system comprises soft tissues, which are muscles, tendons, synovial membranes, joints capsule and ligaments. Furthermore, the soft tissues can be two types; they are either contractile tissues or noncontractile or inert tissues.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Contractile Tissue
3. What is Noncontractile Tissue
4. Similarities Between Contractile and Noncontractile Tissue
5. Side by Side Comparison – Contractile vs Noncontractile Tissue in Tabular Form
What is Contractile Tissue?
Contractile tissue is a type of soft tissue in the musculoskeletal system that has the ability to contract and relax. Muscle tissue is one of the main contractile tissues found in our body. It originates from the mesodermal layer of the embryonic germ cells. Also, the muscle cells contain contractile filaments that have the capability to change the size of the cells. Muscle belly, musculotendinous junction, the body of the tendon, tenoperiosteal junction are some of the other contractile tissues located in our body.
Besides, the muscle contraction occurs via several steps. When motor neurons receive a signal from the brain, axon terminals release neurotransmitter – acetylcholine. Then acetylcholine binds with the receptors in the sarcolemma and causes an action potential to spread over the muscle fibre. It causes the release of calcium. Once calcium releases, it changes in troponin actions and in return the shortening of sarcolemma occurs. Hence, the entire muscle become shortens. When again calcium returns to sarcoplasmic reticulum, troponin also returns to the original position and causes the muscle to come into relaxed position.
What is Noncontractile Tissue?
Noncontractile tissue is the second type of soft tissue that cannot contract and relax. These tissues lack the ability of contraction. Hence, they are inert structures or inert tissues. Also, they can be tested in medical procedures only by passive stretching and squeezing.
Some of the noncontractile tissues are joint capsules, ligaments, nerves and their sheaths, bursae, and cartilages. Compare to the young people; elderly people have a greater proportion of noncontractile tissues than contractile tissues. Moreover, when noncontractile tissues injure, they don’t heal well.
What are the Similarities Between Contractile and Noncontractile Tissue?
- Contractile and Noncontractile Tissue are soft tissues.
- Both belong to the musculoskeletal system.
What is the Difference Between Contractile and Noncontractile Tissue?
Contractile tissues are capable of contracting and relaxing without getting injured. In contrast, noncontractile tissues are unable to contract and relax well. Therefore, the key difference between contractile and noncontractile tissue is the ability of contraction. Furthermore, in young people, contractile tissue proportion is high while in older adults, noncontractile tissue proportion is high. Also, another important difference between contractile and noncontractile tissue is that the injuries of contractile tissues heal well while the injuries of noncontractile tissues don’t heal well.
The below infographic presents the difference between contractile and noncontractile tissue in tabular form for quick reference.
Summary – Contractile vs Noncontractile Tissue
Contractile tissue and noncontractile tissue are two types of tissues in the musculoskeletal system. Contractile tissue can contract and relax well. On the other hand, noncontractile tissue cannot contract and relax. This is the difference between contractile and noncontractile tissue.
1.“Musculoskeletal System.” Kenhub. Available here