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The timing of channel opening during miniature endplate currents at the frog and mouse neuromuscular junctions: effects of fasciculin-2, other anti-cholinesterases and vesamicol


Fluctuation analysis was used to estimate the mean single-channel conductance and the mean channel duration of opening. Miniature endplate currents (MEPCs) were measured with the voltage-clamp technique. The timing of endplate channel opening during the generation of the MEPC was estimated by a deconvolution method. Often all of the channels opened during the rise of the MEPC, but in about half of the examples some 10% of the channels opened after the peak. We studied the effects of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition with neostigmine, diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) and fasciculin-2. With AChE largely inhibited, the number of channels opening increased as much as fourfold, largely by channels opening in the “tail” that follows the peak of the MEPC. The results were compared to models of MEPC generation. Models did not account well for the pattern of channel opening, particularly after AChE inhibition. In the presence of fasciculin-2, the addition of 2 μM (−)-vesamicol reduced the number of channels opening and shortened the period over which channels were open. One interpretation is that quantal ACh release is not almost instantaneous, but that some of the ACh is released over a period of a millisecond or more and that some of the release is blocked by (−)-vesamicol.

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Correspondence to William Van der Kloot.

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Van der Kloot, W., Balezina, O.P., Molgó, J. et al. The timing of channel opening during miniature endplate currents at the frog and mouse neuromuscular junctions: effects of fasciculin-2, other anti-cholinesterases and vesamicol. Pflügers Arch 428, 114–126 (1994).

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Key words

  • Acetylcholine
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Quantum
  • Synapse
  • Endplate current
  • Anticholinesterase