Resting Release of Acetylcholine at the Motor Endplate

  • P. C. Molenaar
  • R. L. Polak
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 30)


When skeletal muscle is incubated after inactivation of the cholinesterase, significant amounts of acetylcholine (ACh) diffuse from the preparation into the incubation medium even when the nerve is not stimulated. It is now well established that only a few percent of the ACh released under resting conditions (“resting release”) can be accounted for by the spontaneous discharge of ACh quanta responsible for the miniature endplate potentials ( (2, 11, 15, 18, 22). Apparently, the ACh from resting muscle is released in a predominantly non-quantal way. The origin, mechanism and physiological significance of non-quantal ACh release in skeletal muscle are still uncertain. The present paper reviews our recent work on resting release of ACh in frog, rat and mouse skeletal muscle (8, 11, 13, 17, 18).


Extensor Digitorum Longus Muscle Presynaptic Membrane Mouse Skeletal Muscle Motor Nerve Terminal Quantal Release 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. C. Molenaar
    • 1
  • R. L. Polak
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Sylvius LaboratoriesUniversity of LeidenLeidenthe Netherlands
  2. 2.Medical Biological Laboratory/TNORijswijkthe Netherlands

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