Acetylcholinesterase and the Maintenance of Neuromuscular Structure and Function

  • W-D. Dettbarn
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 30)


The structural and functional integrity of skeletal muscle depends on the presence and normal function of neuromuscular transmission. Problems may arise from pharmacologic manipulation of neuromuscular transmission and may lead to changes in the development, maintenance, and integrity of the end-plate and muscle fiber. The physiology of neuromuscular transmission can be affected in several ways. The amount of the transmitter acetylcholine (ACh) which is released may be increased or reduced by a wide variety of drugs (2, 6, 7, 11, 28, 29). Post-synaptic sensitivity may be changed by altering either the number of or the affinity of the ACh receptors. Drug induced changes of the input resistance of the muscle fiber membrane can alter the threshold for the generation of muscle action potentials. Variation in one of these factors or in combination with one another can be contributing causes of neuromuscular degeneration (4, 10, 16, 36, 39).


AChE Activity Molecular Form Extensor Digitorum Longus AChE Inhibitor Neuromuscular Transmission 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • W-D. Dettbarn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyVanderbilt University School of MedicineNashvilleUSA

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