The fine structure of innervated myotendinous cylinders in extraocular muscles of rhesus monkeys

J Neurocytol. 1978 Dec;7(6):693-708. doi: 10.1007/BF01205145.


Many of the myelinated nerve fibres of the distal myotendinous region of rectus muscles terminate on muscle fibre tips. The terminal expansions contain aggregated, small clear vesicles and mitochondria. Neuromuscular clefts at the contacts measure 20--40 nm and are uninterrupted by a basal lamina; the sarcoplasm opposite the contacts is unmodified. Some terminals invaginate the muscle fibre tips and others contact the sides of processes formed by splitting of the tips. The muscle fibre termination, its tendon and the nerve fibre branches are encapsulated to form an end-organ averaging 125 micrometer in length and described as a myotendinous cylinder. Approximately 350 innervated myotendinous cylinders were estimated to be present in the horizontal recti with rather fewer in the vertical rectus muscles. Many of them occur shortly before the main myotendinous junction. All muscle fibres contributing to myotendinous cylinders were identified as the compact, felderstruktur, multi-innervated variety with directly apposed myofibrils that are known to be non-twitch fibres. All felderstruktur fibre terminations examined were encapsulated but 19% of them were not innervated. The nerve terminals of myotendinous cylinders are similar to those described by Dogiel (1906) as palisade endings and it is argued that they meet the morphological criteria of sensory neuromuscular endings. Their disposition suggests a capacity to monitor felderstruktur muscle fibre contraction.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Collagen
  • Haplorhini
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Muscles / innervation*
  • Muscles / ultrastructure
  • Nerve Fibers / ultrastructure*
  • Neuromuscular Junction / ultrastructure*
  • Organoids / ultrastructure
  • Tendons / innervation*
  • Tendons / ultrastructure


  • Collagen