'End plate spike' (EPS) is a spontaneous action potential of a normal striated muscle. EPSs are found in local 'active spots' of the muscle. The prevailing hypothesis about the origin of EPSs states that when a needle electrode affects a motor nerve branch near the neuromuscular junction at the end plate zone, an increased leakage of acetylcholine to the synaptic cleft ensues. This elicits postsynaptic action potentials of the muscle fibre which can be recorded as EPSs with the same needle electrode. Thus EPSs are thought to be caused by needle injury or irritation of the motor axon. We suggest that EPSs are action potentials of intrafusal muscle fibres and that 'active spots' are in fact muscle spindles. Waveform analysis reveals three types of EPSs: small EPSs, not propagated outside the active spot either: i) with negative onset; or ii) with short positive initial deflection; and iii) large EPSs resembling propagated motor unit potentials (MUPs) but with a typical EPS firing pattern, distinctly different from that of the MUPs. . Study of EPS activation in different manoeuvres associates small EPSs with intrafusal gamma motor units and large MUP-like EPSs with beta motor units.

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