Extrafusal muscle fiber

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Extrafusal muscle fiber
Latin myofibra extrafusalis
Code TH H3.03.00.0.00007

Extrafusal muscle fibers are the skeletal standard muscle fibers that are innervated by alpha motor neurons and generate tension by contracting, thereby allowing for skeletal movement. They make up large mass of skeletal (striated) muscle and are attached to bone by fibrous tissue extensions (tendons).

Each alpha motor neuron and the extrafusal muscle fibers innvervated by it make up a motor unit. The connection between the alpha motor neuron and the extrafusal muscle fiber is a neuromuscular junction, where the neuron's signal, the action potential, is transduced to the muscle fiber by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

Extrafusal muscle fibers are not to be confused with intrafusal muscle fibers, which are innervated by sensory nerve endings in central noncontractile parts and by gamma motor neurons in contractile ends and thus serve as a sensory proprioceptor.

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