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MeSH Review

Muscle Spindles

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Disease relevance of Muscle Spindles

  • METHODS: We used the vibration induced facilitation of an MEP of the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) as a surrogate marker for muscle spindle function in 20 healthy subjects and 10 patients with idiopathic rotational torticollis in whom BTX was injected unilaterally [1].

Psychiatry related information on Muscle Spindles


High impact information on Muscle Spindles

  • Egr3 was highly expressed in developing muscle spindles, but not in Ia afferent neurons or their terminals during developmental periods that coincided with the induction of spindle morphogenesis by sensory afferent axons [5].
  • Although extrafusal skeletal muscle fibers appeared normal, Egr3-deficient animals lacked muscle spindles, a finding that is consistent with their profound gait ataxia [5].
  • Importantly, the number of muscle spindles in heterozygous mutant mice was half of that in control mice, indicating that NT-3 is present at limiting concentrations in the embryo [6].
  • Recent molecular studies have identified the gonadotropin subunit, luteinizing hormone beta, as an EGR1-regulated gene in vivo and uncovered an essential role for EGR3 in muscle-spindle development [7].
  • The diversity of the heavy-chain subunits of myosin (MyHCs) in intrafusal fibers is thought to reflect a pathway of differentiation that is unique to muscle spindles [8].

Chemical compound and disease context of Muscle Spindles

  • From comparison of the effect of procaine and diazepam on the phasic and static responses of the muscle spindle it was concluded that directly after the injection of diazepam the gamma motor activity was completely abolished at a dose as low as 0.1 mg/kg whereas the alpha motor system was only partly depressed even at higher doses [9].

Biological context of Muscle Spindles


Anatomical context of Muscle Spindles


Associations of Muscle Spindles with chemical compounds

  • More than 30 years ago, Frank and Fuortes proposed that the synaptic effectiveness of muscle spindle afferents associated with spinal motoneurones could be diminished by the activation of nerves from flexor muscles [19].
  • Phenytoin and carbamazepine reduce the afferent output of muscle spindles [20].
  • Quantal analysis, performed using a deconvolution technique, of the monosynaptic EPSPs in brachial motoneurons evoked by activity in single triceps muscle spindle afferents showed that transmission at these synapses was quantal, and baclofen lowered the quantal content without altering the quantal size [10].
  • 1. A method of classification of muscle spindle afferents using succinylcholine (SCh) and ramp stretches has recently been described, which appears to estimate separately the strength of influence of bag1 (b1) and of bag2 (b2) intrafusal fibres [21].
  • Activation of cat muscle spindle primary, secondary and intermediate sensory endings by suxamethonium [22].

Gene context of Muscle Spindles

  • Sensory ataxia and muscle spindle agenesis in mice lacking the transcription factor Egr3 [5].
  • We provide genetic evidence that Neuregulin1 (Nrg1) is required for proprioceptive afferent-evoked induction of muscle spindle differentiation in the mouse [23].
  • Erbb2 regulates neuromuscular synapse formation and is essential for muscle spindle development [24].
  • Peripherally, muscle spindles are absent and TrkC-positive axons do not enter their target muscles [25].
  • We have monitored the expression of three transcription factors, Egr3, Pea3, and Erm, that delineate early muscle spindle development in an assay of muscle spindle-inducing signals [23].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Muscle Spindles


  1. Effects of botulinum toxin type A on vibration induced facilitation of motor evoked potentials in spasmodic torticollis. Urban, P.P., Rolke, R. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. (2004) [Pubmed]
  2. Toe flexor muscle spindle discharge and stretch modulation during locomotor activity in the decerebrate cat. Murphy, P.R., Pearson, K.G., Stein, R.B. J. Physiol. (Lond.) (2002) [Pubmed]
  3. Blockade of the tonic hindlimb extensor component of maximal electroshock and pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures by drugs acting on muscle and muscle spindle systems: a perspective on method. Raines, A., Helke, C.J., Iadarola, M.J., Britton, L.W., Anderson, R.J. Epilepsia (1976) [Pubmed]
  4. Postural maintenance during fast forward bending: a model simulation experiment determines the "reduced trajectory". Ramos, C.F., Stark, L.W. Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation cérébrale. (1990) [Pubmed]
  5. Sensory ataxia and muscle spindle agenesis in mice lacking the transcription factor Egr3. Tourtellotte, W.G., Milbrandt, J. Nat. Genet. (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. Lack of neurotrophin-3 leads to deficiencies in the peripheral nervous system and loss of limb proprioceptive afferents. Ernfors, P., Lee, K.F., Kucera, J., Jaenisch, R. Cell (1994) [Pubmed]
  7. The EGR family of transcription-regulatory factors: progress at the interface of molecular and systems neuroscience. O'Donovan, K.J., Tourtellotte, W.G., Millbrandt, J., Baraban, J.M. Trends Neurosci. (1999) [Pubmed]
  8. Why adult mammalian intrafusal and extrafusal fibers contain different myosin heavy-chain isoforms. Walro, J.M., Kucera, J. Trends Neurosci. (1999) [Pubmed]
  9. Effect of diazepam on the gamma motor system indicated by the responses of the muscle spindle of the triceps surae muscle of the decerebrate cat to the muscle stretch. Takano, K., Student, J.C. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch. Pharmacol. (1978) [Pubmed]
  10. Activation of GABAB receptors causes presynaptic inhibition at synapses between muscle spindle afferents and motoneurons in the spinal cord of bullfrogs. Peng, Y.Y., Frank, E. J. Neurosci. (1989) [Pubmed]
  11. Convergence of muscle spindle afferents on single neurons of the cat dorsal spino-cerebellar tract and their synaptic efficacy. Kröller, J., Grüsser, O.J. Brain Res. (1982) [Pubmed]
  12. Effects of eperisone-HCl on the stretch reflex in anesthetized cats. Nakajima, Y., Wada, N. Jpn. J. Pharmacol. (1989) [Pubmed]
  13. Suppression of Cerebellar Evoked Potentials by a peripheral action of diphenylhydantoin. Anderson, R.J., Raines, A. Archives internationales de pharmacodynamie et de thérapie. (1975) [Pubmed]
  14. Development of the monosynaptic stretch reflex circuit. Chen, H.H., Hippenmeyer, S., Arber, S., Frank, E. Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  15. Muscle sensory neurons require neurotrophin-3 from peripheral tissues during the period of normal cell death. Oakley, R.A., Garner, A.S., Large, T.H., Frank, E. Development (1995) [Pubmed]
  16. Attenuated dynamic responses of primary endings of muscle spindles: a basis for depressed tendon responses in acrylamide neuropathy. Lowndes, H.E., Baker, T., Michelson, L.P., Vincent-Ablazey, M. Ann. Neurol. (1978) [Pubmed]
  17. The effect of posterior column lesions on servo responses from the human long thumb flexor. Marsden, C.D., Merton, P.A., Morton, H.B., Adam, J. Brain (1977) [Pubmed]
  18. GDNF increases the survival of developing oculomotor neurons through a target-derived mechanism. Chen, J., Butowt, R., Rind, H.B., von Bartheld, C.S. Mol. Cell. Neurosci. (2003) [Pubmed]
  19. Presynaptic inhibition of muscle spindle and tendon organ afferents in the mammalian spinal cord. Rudomin, P. Trends Neurosci. (1990) [Pubmed]
  20. Antispasticity drugs: mechanisms of action. Davidoff, R.A. Ann. Neurol. (1985) [Pubmed]
  21. Projection of cat jaw muscle spindle afferents related to intrafusal fibre influence. Taylor, A., Durbaba, R., Rodgers, J.F. J. Physiol. (Lond.) (1993) [Pubmed]
  22. Activation of cat muscle spindle primary, secondary and intermediate sensory endings by suxamethonium. Dutia, M.B. J. Physiol. (Lond.) (1980) [Pubmed]
  23. A role for neuregulin1 signaling in muscle spindle differentiation. Hippenmeyer, S., Shneider, N.A., Birchmeier, C., Burden, S.J., Jessell, T.M., Arber, S. Neuron (2002) [Pubmed]
  24. Erbb2 regulates neuromuscular synapse formation and is essential for muscle spindle development. Leu, M., Bellmunt, E., Schwander, M., Fariñas, I., Brenner, H.R., Müller, U. Development (2003) [Pubmed]
  25. A chemoattractant role for NT-3 in proprioceptive axon guidance. Genç, B., Ozdinler, P.H., Mendoza, A.E., Erzurumlu, R.S. PLoS Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  26. Resting discharge of human muscle spindles is not modulated by increases in sympathetic drive. Macefield, V.G., Sverrisdottir, Y.B., Wallin, B.G. J. Physiol. (Lond.) (2003) [Pubmed]
  27. Modulation of responses of four types of feline ascending tract neurons by serotonin and noradrenaline. Jankowska, E., Hammar, I., Djouhri, L., Hedén, C., Szabo Läckberg, Z., Yin, X.K. Eur. J. Neurosci. (1997) [Pubmed]
  28. Sensory denervation of the plantar lumbrical muscle spindles in pyridoxine neuropathy. Krinke, G., Heid, J., Bittiger, H., Hess, R. Acta Neuropathol. (1978) [Pubmed]
  29. Characteristics of wrist joint receptors in the cat. Tracey, D.J. Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation cérébrale. (1979) [Pubmed]
  30. Scanning electron microscopic study of denervated and reinnervated intrafusal muscle fibers in rats. Dieler, R., Völker, A., Schröder, J.M. Muscle Nerve (1992) [Pubmed]
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