A new grouping of intrafusal muscle fibers based on developmental studies of muscle spindles in the cat
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The development of muscle spindles was studied using the tenuissimus muscle of the cat. Observations show that the intrafusal muscle fibers develop as two separate groups: one group represented by a single nuclear bag fiber while the second group comprises the second nuclear bag fiber in association with all the nuclear chain fibers. This grouping is most pronounced in the fetus and is clearly seen in neonatal kittens (i.e., up to 2 weeks of age). As the intrafusal fibers begin to separate from each other, the groupings become less noticeable, although this basic pattern is often retained in the adult. The pattern of intrafusal fiber grouping is most noticeable in the equatorial regions of the spindle and least noticeable in the polar regions. This is not the grouping of fibers which would have been expected from a consideration of existing reports on muscle spindles. The implications for spindle form and function are considered.
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