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Anatomy and Physiology of the Skeletal Muscle 

Anatomy and Physiology of the Skeletal Muscle
Chapter:
Anatomy and Physiology of the Skeletal Muscle
Author(s):

Jun Kimura

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199738687.003.0012
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date: 27 July 2021

The skeletal muscles comprise the extrafusal and intrafusal fibers, each with distinct anatomic and physiologic features. The alpha motoneurons innervate the extrafusal fibers that occupy the bulk of muscle mass as contractile elements.The gamma motoneurons subserve the stretch-sensitive intrafusal fibers that constitute the muscle spindles found in parallel with the extrafusal fibers, which contract to generate force. The Golgi tendon organs, aligned in series with the tendon of the extrafusal fibers, also respond to stretch.This chapter describes the anatomy of the contractile elements, the mechanism underlying the shortening of the muscle fibers,or excitation contraction coupling,and the physiology of motor units, which consist of a single motor axon and all the muscle fibers that it innervates.

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