Journal of Neurocytology

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 817–833

Activity-dependent switch from synapse formation to synapse elimination during development of neuromuscular junctions

Authors

    • Neurobiology Section, Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern California
  • Yu Zeng
    • Neurobiology Section, Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern California
Article

DOI: 10.1023/B:NEUR.0000020626.29900.fb

Cite this article as:
Herrera, A.A. & Zeng, Y. J Neurocytol (2003) 32: 817. doi:10.1023/B:NEUR.0000020626.29900.fb

Abstract

The embryonic development of neuromuscular junctions consists of two successive epochs, an early period marked by exuberant synapse formation and a later period marked by synapse elimination. In the frog muscles we have studied, myogenesis is protracted and overlaps the periods of synapse formation and elimination. Thus, the formative and regressive events of synaptic development do not occur in synchrony across different fibers in the muscle. We propose that local activity orchestrates a shift from synaptogenesis to synapse elimination at the level of single muscle fibers. We also present evidence that perisynaptic Schwann cells and the expression of ion channels in the sarcolemma play important roles in the development of neuromuscular junctions. Questions for future study are outlined.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003