Changes in motor unit action potentials during the fatigue test.
The spatial analysis of the potentials of single motor units of the rat medial gastrocnemius muscle evoked by stimulation of the fibres of split ventral roots was carried out with a bipolar electrode moving in the direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the muscle fibres. During this movement of the electrode a variability was observed in the time of the biphasic potential from its maximum to minimum, and in the peak-to-peak amplitude of these potentials. The potentials recorded outside the territory of the motor unit had a lower amplitude in relation to the potentials from the territory of the unit. This made localization of the motor unit on the cross-section of the muscle possible. Differences in the duration of the potential from maximal to minimal amplitude (maximum-minimum amplitude time--M-MAT) of each investigated motor unit from successive recording sites reflected the number of fibres contributing to the action potential and the distance of the recording surface of the electrode from the zone of the motor end-plates of this motor unit. The greatest diameter of the territory of the observed motor units reached 2.5 mm.