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The responses of muscle spindles in the kitten to stretch and vibration.

Authors
  • Gregory, J E
  • Proske, U
Type
Published Article
Journal
Experimental brain research
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1988
Volume
73
Issue
3
Pages
606–614
Identifiers
PMID: 3224670
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Discharges of muscle spindle afferents from the soleus muscle were studied in kittens aged 1-21 days and in adult cats. Vibration applied longitudinally to the tendon elicited one impulse for each cycle of vibration over the range 1-200 Hz for the kittens and up to 450 Hz for the adult. Threshold amplitudes were generally higher in the kitten than in the adult. In response to large ramp and hold stretches applied at long muscle lengths kitten spindles showed rate saturation during the length change. Dynamic index, that is the peak rate during the length change minus the rate at the final length became progressively smaller at longer muscle lengths. No sign of saturation was seen at comparable muscle lengths in the adult. It is suggested that in the newborn the bag1 intrafusal fibre is not functional and that the dynamic response is produced only by the afferent terminals on the bag2 fibre. Another difference between kitten and adult was the length sensitivity measured under dynamic conditions. This increased much more steeply with stretch rate in the kitten. One possible explanation for the higher dynamic length sensitivity is a lack of elastic fibres surrounding intrafusal fibres of immature spindles.

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