Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Over 150 complete and 139 incomplete single muscle spindles were examined in serial transverse sections of cat tenuissimus muscles in search for spindles lacking one of the two types of nuclear bag intrafusal fiber. Several histochemical reactions were used to type the intrafusal muscle fibers and assess the spindle motor and sensory innervation. One complete spindle lacked a bag1 fiber, and another spindle lacked a bag2 fiber. Several incomplete spindles also lacked bag1 fibers. In addition, ten double tandem spindles contained one capsular unit each that lacked the bag1 fiber, and one triple tandem spindle had two such capsules. All one-bag-fiber spindles had primary sensory innervation, but none had secondary sensory innervation. Their motor innervation was similar to that of the usual two-bag-fiber spindles in the number and disposition of intrafusal motor endings. It is unclear whether the one-bag fiber spindles, either single or tandem-linked, are products of an aberrant spindle development or represent a true anatomical and functional subcategory of the cat muscle spindle.
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