Specific innervation of muscle fiber types in a developmentally polyinnervated muscle

Herman Gordon, David C. Van Essen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


In neonatal rabbit soleus muscle, different motor units were found to contract with widely varying time courses. Analysis of these data suggest that individual motor units are largely homogeneous for muscle fiber type despite the presence of extensive polyinnervation at birth. We suggest that (1) neonatal motor neurons are effectively differentiated into specific types insofar as they preferentially innervate muscle fibers which give rise to different contraction times, and (2) muscle fibers begin their physiological differentiation into twitch types while still polyinnervated. Possible mechanisms underlying the development of a specific pattern of neuromuscular innervation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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