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Normal variations in presynaptic active zones of frog neuromuscular junctions

Summary

Neuromuscular junctions of frog cutaneous pectoris muscles were examined by the complementary-replica freeze-fracture technique. The large number of active zones revealed in this way permitted quantitation of normal and disrupted zones in control muscles and in muscles deprived of external calcium for periods of up to eight hours. Although some 87% of the active zones examined had the usual appearance of two double rows of intramembrane particles flanking a low ridge, several varieties of disrupted active zones appeared in which the rows were interrupted, dispersed, rotated, or reduced to single rows. The frequency of disruptions was not increased by calcium deprivation. Disorganized active zones at tips of neuromuscular junctions may represent normal remodelling of the junctions.

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Pumplin, D.W. Normal variations in presynaptic active zones of frog neuromuscular junctions. J Neurocytol 12, 317–323 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01148467

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Keywords

  • Calcium
  • Normal Variation
  • Active Zone
  • Neuromuscular Junction
  • Control Muscle