Motor unit types
Twitch and tetanic tensions
Peroneus tertius muscle
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Motor units of the cat peroneus tertius muscle were systematically analyzed using the criteria established by Burke et al. (1973). On the basis of their speed of contraction and resistance to fatigue, 121 (97%) of 125 motor units examined in ten adult cats could be classified as belonging to one of four types: fast-fatiguable (FF), fast-resistant (FR), fast-intermediate (FI), and slow-resistant (S). Peroneus tertius was found to contain 30% FF motor units, 9% FI units, 39% FR units, and 22% S units. Contraction times of fast motor units (FF, FR, and FI) ranged from 15 to 27 ms and those of S units from 26 to 42 ms. The mean tetanic tensions were 37 g for FF units, 29 g for FI units, 7.5 g for FR units, and 1.1 g for S units. Fast motor units displayed considerable post-tetanic potentiation of twitch tension. Under similar conditions of stimulation, FF units appeared able to potentiate more and faster than FR units.
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