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The Spindle And Extrafusal Innervation Of A Frog Muscle
Published 1957 · Biology, Medicine
In the frog muscle, ext. long. dig. IV, there are two or three spindle systems. Each consists of a bundle of intrafusal muscle fibres with two, three or four discrete encapsulated sensory regions distributed in mechanical series along it. A sensory region is usually comprised of the coiled branches of one afferent axon. These embrace the intrafusal fibres and ultimately form long fine varicose endings on or near them. The intrafusal striations appear to be lost for a short distance within the sensory region, and in this region the intrafusal fibre nuclei crowd together. The ‘small’ extrafusal efferents break up into trusses of fine unmyelinated axons and terminate as ‘grape’ end-plates, several of which can occur on the same muscle fibre. This is the ‘tonic’ system. The ‘large’ extrafusal efferents terminate as ‘Endbiischel’ end-plates on muscle fibres not supplied by grape endings. This is the ‘twitch’ system. Both ‘grape' and ‘twitch’ end-plates occur on the intrafusal bundle (probably on separate fibres) between the sensory regions. They are supplied by branches of ‘small’ or ‘large’ axons respectively, which also innervate extrafusal fibres. Thus like the extrafusals the intrafusal bundle is composed of ‘tonic’ and ‘twitch’ muscle fibres. This situation contrasts with that of the mammal, where extrafusals are exclusively ‘twitch’ fibres and intrafusals ‘tonic’.