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International Journal of Zoology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 293643, 6 pages
Research Article

Distribution and Structure of Purkinje Fibers in the Heart of Ostrich (Struthio camelus) with the Special References on the Ultrastructure

1Biological Department, Faculty of Science, Razi University, Kermansha 6714967346, Iran
2School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz 1731-71345, Iran
3Biological Department, Faculty of Science, Razi University, Kermansha 6714967346, Iran

Received 20 May 2013; Revised 29 July 2013; Accepted 29 July 2013

Academic Editor: Greg Demas

Copyright © 2013 Paria Parto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purkinje fibers or Purkinje cardiomyocytes are part of the whole complex of the cardiac conduction system, which is today classified as specific heart muscle tissue responsible for the generation of the heart impulses. From the point of view of their distribution, structure and ultrastructural composition of the cardiac conduction system in the ostrich heart were studied by light and electron microscopy. These cells were distributed in cardiac conducting system including SA node, AV node, His bundle and branches as well as endocardium, pericardium, myocardium around the coronary arteries, moderator bands, white fibrous sheet in right atrium, and left septal attachment of AV valve. The great part of the Purkinje fiber is composed of clear, structure less sarcoplasm, and the myofibrils tend to be confined to a thin ring around the periphery of the cells. They have one or more large nuclei centrally located within the fiber. Ultrastructurally, they are easily distinguished. The main distinction feature is the lack of electron density and having a light appearance, due to the absence of organized myofibrils. P-cells usually have two nuclei with a mass of short, delicate microfilaments scattered randomly in the cytoplasm; they contain short sarcomeres and myofibrillar insertion plaque. They do not have T-tubules.