Lumbrical muscles of young rats were fixed with OsO4 and embedded in methacrylate for electron microscopy. The spindle capsule was found to be continuous with and similar in structure to the sheath of Henle surrounding the nerves supplying the spindle. The capsule consists of several closely applied concentric cytoplasmic sheets. Each sheet is about 1,000 A thick and has no fenestrations. Many caveolae and vesicles in the cytoplasm suggest active transport through the sheets. The periaxial space fluid contains much solid material. It is suggested that the capsule and periaxial space regulate internal chemical environment.
The interfibrillar structures are less evident in the polar regions of intrafusal fibres than in extrafusal fibres. Simple motor end-plates occur on the polar regions of intrafusal fibres. In the myotube region of the intrafusal fibre a peripheral zone of myofibrils surrounds a cytoplasmic core containing nuclei, mitochondria, Golgi bodies, reticulum, and a few lipid-like granules. Naked sensory endings lie on the myotube "in parallel" with the underlying myofilaments. Naked processes of the primary sensory ending deeply indent the muscle plasma membrane and the underlying wisps of myofilament in the nuclear bag region.
The plasma membranes of sensory nerve ending and intrafusal muscle fibre are about 200 A apart.