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August 1979

Microvasculature of Rabbit Muscle Spindles

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Arch Neurol. 1979;36(8):471-475. doi:10.1001/archneur.1979.00500440041006

• The microvasculature of the muscle spindle and its relationship to the microcirculation of tenuissimus extrafusal muscle is described. Muscle spindles lie in close proximity and parallel to the central artery, vein, and nerve. The arterioles to spindle capillaries are third to fourth order branches of the central artery, whereas most arterioles to extrafusal capillaries are sixth to eighth order. Two or three capillaries enter each spindle. At least one entry consistently was encountered in the equatorial area near the sensory endings. Branches of intrafusal capillaries run longitudinally, anastomose with each other, and cradle the sensory zone in a longitudinal capillary loop. Capillaries in muscle spindles are larger than those in extrafusal muscle. These characteristic features are presumed to enhance the capability of these capillaries to provide sufficient circulation to the spindle, particularly to the region of the sensory endings.