The muscle spindles in slow and twitch skeletal muscle of the lizard.

The Journal of physiology

PubMedID: 4267759

Proske U. The muscle spindles in slow and twitch skeletal muscle of the lizard. J Physiol (Lond). 1973;230(2):429-48.
1. Responses from stretch receptors, identified as muscle spindles, were recorded in filaments of the nerve supplying a twitch muscle, semimembranosus, and a slow muscle, semitendinosus in the lizard Tiliqua.2. While recording afferent discharges in one filament of the motor nerve, several adjacent filaments were each in turn stimulated repetitively until one was encountered which on stimulation produced a powerful increase in spindle firing. Such an effect of the motor stimulus was interpreted as resulting from intrafusal contraction. Any interference with spindle firing patterns from extrafusal contraction produced by the motor stimulation was removed by differentially blocking the contraction with the drug curare.3. Discharge patterns of spindles in response to a slow stretch of the muscle were compared with the response to the same stretch, but during repetitive stimulation of the motor nerve filament which produced an intrafusal contraction.4. At the initial length, the firing rate of spindles in the twitch muscle was greatly increased by the motor tetanus. There was little further increase in the response during and following stretch of the muscle.5. While the spindles in the slow muscle were only moderately excited by the motor tetanus at the initial length of the muscle, a large increase was recorded during the dynamic component of the stretch. At the new length, the steady-state firing continued at a rate well above that for the initial length.6. The effect of the motor tetanus on the response to stretch of muscle spindles in the slow muscle could be mimicked by adding succinyl choline (5 mug/ml.) to the perfusion solution. Spindles in the twitch muscle did not show a sustained sensitivity to the drug.7. It is suggested that while the different effects of motor stimulation on the responses to stretch of spindles in slow and twitch muscle can be explained by propositions based on the sliding filament theory of contraction, the sustained elevation, at the new length, of firing frequencies of spindles in slow muscle might require an additional explanation.