The concept of parallel muscle combinations, in which spindle density is significantly higher in small muscles compared to their larger counterparts in large-small muscle combinations acting across a joint, is supported by the results of this study regardless of the joint.

Analysis of the canine data as well as previously published guinea pig forelimb and human pelvic limb data revealed no significant difference in spindle density between antigravity and non-antigravity muscles.

Furthermore, a gradual increase in spindle density from proximal to distal on the limb was not found, although spindle density was significantly higher in the intrinsic manus or pes muscles compared to more proximal limb muscles in all three species.

The significant differences in spindle densities in parallel muscle combinations and in manus/pes versus proximal muscles are discussed relative to their possible role in the control of locomotion.

Buxton D.F., Peck D.