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Ultrastructure of dynamic and static skeletofusimotor endings in a cat muscle spindle


Endings of four β skeletofusimotor axons in a spindle of the cat tenuissimus muscle were examined in semithin (1-μm thick) and ultrathin transverse serial sections. Two (dynamic) β axons terminated on the nuclear bag1 intrafusal muscle fiber and on extrafusal fibers of the dark type. Two (static) β axons terminated on the nuclear chain intrafusal fibers and extrafusal fibers of the intermediate type. The degree of indentation of axon terminals into the muscle surface, thickness of the sole plate and extent of folding of subjunctional membranes differed among intrafusal and extrafusal terminations of the same axon. Endings of β axons on the bag1 and chain fibers were also morphologically dissimilar. Motor axons may not determine ending morphology. Rather the form and structure of a β bag1 or chain ending may be determined by the type of intrafusal fiber on which the ending lies and the ending's distance from the primary sensory axon.

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Correspondence to Jan Kucera M.D..

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Kucera, J., Hammar, K. & Meek, B. Ultrastructure of dynamic and static skeletofusimotor endings in a cat muscle spindle. Cell Tissue Res. 238, 151–158 (1984).

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Key words

  • Skeletofusimotor innervation
  • Muscle spindles
  • Cat