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September 1979

Morphometric Comparison of Capillaries in Muscle Spindles, Nerve, and Muscle

Author Affiliations

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

Arch Neurol. 1979;36(9):547-552. doi:10.1001/archneur.1979.00500450041006

• Morphometric study was performed on transverse sections of microdissected muscle spindles from rabbit tenuissimus muscles. It showed a statistically significant difference in size and structure between the intrafusal capillaries and those of extrafusal muscle. The former are larger in diameter, circumference, and area due to a proportionate increase in the number of endothelial cells. Vesicles within spindle endothelial cells are fewer, mitochondrial counts are greater, but in proportion to the increased number of endothelial cells, intercellular junctions are tight and pericyte coverage is greater. The basement membrane around endothelial cells and pericytes is thicker and more often multilayered. The endoneurial capillaries of tenuissimus intramuscular nerve are morphologically identical to intrafusal capillaries. The similarity of the capillaries of spindles to those in brain suggests that a blood-nervous system barrier extends from brain into the peripheral nerves and muscle spindles.