The Neuromuscular Junction: Areas of Uncertainty

  • Eleanor Zaimis
Part of the Handbuch der experimentellen Pharmakologie / Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 42)


During a Symposium in Philadelphia in 1954, Sir Henry Dale discussed the beginnings of chemical transmission and told us that before Otto Loewi’s discovery in 1921 the general climate of physiological opinion still remained hesitant and sceptical. “Transmission by chemical mediators” Sir Henry Dale said “was like a lady with whom the neurophysiologist was willing to live and to consort in private, but with whom he was reluctant to be seen in public”. Progress since then has been more than spectacular, and today nobody doubts that the transmission from motor nerve to skeletal muscle is chemical and that the transmitter substance is acetylcholine. After its release the acetylcholine diffuses across the synaptic gap and acts on a component of the post-synaptic membrane, the so-called acetylcholine receptor. The molecular properties of these receptors at the neuromuscular junction have been intensively studied during the last three years and the evidence that they exist as actual chemical substances is now quite strong1.


Acetylcholine Receptor Neuromuscular Junction Neuromuscular Transmission Neuromuscular Blocking Drug Depolarisation Block 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1976

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  • Eleanor Zaimis

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