Appearance of Specialized Cell Membrane Components During Differentiation of Embryonic Skeletal Muscle Cells in Culture

  • Joav M. Prives
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 11)


The properties of cell membranes of skeletal muscle fibers are known to be strongly influenced by interaction with motor neurons. The subsynaptic areas of muscle surface membranes are distinct in organization and function from other membrane areas, having a unique convoluted morphology and containing a high density of acetylcholine receptor (AChR). These aspects of cell surface specialization are not initially present in embryonic muscle, appearing only during the period of formation of synaptic contacts with motor neurons (6,8). To study the mechanism by which such aspects of muscle cell phenotype may be regulated by nerve and the extent of these inductive effects, it is useful to compare the properties of muscle cells which have developed in the absence of neuronal influence with those of muscle in situ. Like muscle development in the intact embryo, the differentiation in culture of embryonic mononucleated myogenic cells to multinucleated cross-striated muscle fibers is well characterized (6, 21) and includes formation of excitable cell membranes and the biosynthesis of AChR and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) (3–5). The elaboration of these subsynaptic membrane components, which in situ mediate neuromuscular transmission of impulses, and the biosynthesis of membrane constituents responsible for excitability, are intrinsic aspects of muscle cell differentiation not requiring the presence of neurons.


Motor Neuron Acetylcholine Receptor Myoblast Fusion Membrane Constituent Muscle Cell Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joav M. Prives
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurobiology UnitThe Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael

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