PMID: 2882823Mar 1, 1987Paper

Non-uniform release at the frog neuromuscular junction: evidence of morphological and physiological plasticity

Brain Research
R Robitaille, J P Tremblay

Abstract

The frog neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a fusiform structure parallel to the muscle fiber with a few secondary and tertiary branches. Both sprouting and regression can occur on the same nerve terminal, suggesting a continuous on-going remodelling of the mature neuromuscular junction. Thus, the frog NMJ is a dynamic structure. Ultrastructural observations of the nerve terminal suggest that the active zones are distributed equally along the mature nerve terminal. Disorganized active zones have however been observed in distal regions. The density of synaptic vesicles is also uniform throughout the whole structure. However, mitochondria appear to be more abundant in the very distal regions of the nerve terminal. The postjunctional folds and the cholinergic receptors are also uniformly distributed along the NMJ. However, during remodelling periods, the distributions of postjunctional folds and of cholinergic receptors are not uniform in the degenerating and regenerating regions. Fig. 1 summarizes these morphological data. The frequency of spontaneous release (MEPPs) at the NMJ is higher in the proximal region than in the distal regions and recent evidence suggests that the mean MEPP amplitude is higher in the proximal than in the d...Continue Reading

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