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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 6 - Nervous Tissue

Plate 6.121 Muscle Spindle: Gastrocnemius muscle

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed

Gastrocnemius muscle

Plate 6.121 Muscle Spindle: Gastrocnemius muscle

Human, Zenker's fluid, H. & E., 612 x.

This specimen was obtained from a patient with a rhabdomyosarcoma, a very uncommon, highly malignant tumor of striated muscle. The tumor cells are not seen in this section.

Striated muscle fiber: Extrafusal (ordinary) skeletal muscle fiber oriented parallel to the intrafusal (encapsulated) fibers.

Capsule: Thin connective tissue sheath that surrounds the muscle spindle.

Nerve fiber: Myelinated axon. One of several nerve fibers related to the sensory and motor functions of the muscle spindle.

Nuclear chain fiber: Smaller variety of intrafusal muscle fibers (10 to 12 µm in diameter and 3 to 4 mm in length). Has a single row or chain of central nuclei.

Nuclear bag fiber: Larger variety of intrafusal muscle fibers. Enlarged equatorial region accommodates numerous small nuclei.

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