Isolation of viable human muscle spindles for electron microscopic and physiologic study

William R. Kennedy, Richard E. Poppele, Nancy A. Staley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Human muscle spindles are isolated from muscle biopsies of Extensor Indicis. A spindle rich portion of muscle is removed, placed into a modified Kreb's solution and microdissected for spindles. Intramuscular nerves and blood vessels provide helpful locating guides. Spindles can be dissected free of extrafusal muscle with an adequate length of nerve for in vitro recording. Another portion of muscle is stretched and placed into a 5% glutaraldehyde fixative in 0.1 M cacodylate buffer. Spindles are dissected free, postfixed, dehydrated, stained, and then studied with the light microscope while in liquid Epon. The equatorial regions are identified, then removed and embedded for examination using the electron microscope. This is the first successful total isolation of viable human spindles. The combined procedures allow correlation of recordings from the primary sensory endings with the fine structure of spindles from normal persons and from patients with neuromuscular disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-461
Number of pages9
JournalThe Anatomical Record
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1974


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