Development of the Acetylcholine Receptor Clusters Induced by Basic Polypeptides in Cultured Muscle Cells
Vertebrate neuromuscular junction is marked by a concentration of acetylcholine receptors (AChR) in the postsynaptic membrane. From studies using electron–microscopic (EM) autoradiography, it has been estimated that there are over ten thousand AChR per square micron within the AChR cluster (1). This concentration of AChR is essential for the efficiency of the synaptic transmission and is the key event in the development of the postjunctional membrane. Tissue culture of neurons and muscle cells has provided a simple and convenient system to study this process. In monolayer cultures, the growth of the neurons and the establishment of the synaptic connection can be followed with high–resolution light microscopy and electron microscopy. The ease of being able to manipulate the preparation also gives it tremendous advantage in physiological and pharmacological studies over the in vivo systems.
KeywordsAcetylcholine Receptor Neuromuscular Junction Cluster Process Postsynaptic Membrane Latex Bead
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