Organization of motor units in the axolotl: A continuously growing animal

Guy Smith Bewick, A Rowlerson, D A Tonge, N Holder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The characteristics of motor units in the iliotibialis posterior muscle of the axolotl hindlimb are described. Tension recording and intracellular electrophysiological methods demonstrate that the physiological properties of the population of motor units are continuously distributed rather than grouped into a series of discrete types. Overlap between motor units occurs and this is positively correlated with motor unit size but negatively correlated with differences in time to peak tension. Immunocytochemical staining with antimyosin antibodies combined with histochemical demonstration of actomyosin ATPase activity revealed at least four types of muscle fibre which were distributed asymmetrically within iliotibialis posterior. The results are discussed in terms of the continuous growth of the muscle and the interactions between muscle and nerve in the formation of the axolotl motor system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-562
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 1991


  • Ambystoma
  • Animals
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microelectrodes
  • Motor Neurons
  • Muscle Development
  • Muscles
  • Time Factors


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