The Accumulation of Acetylcholine Receptors at Nerve—Muscle Synapses in Culture

  • Gerald D. Fischbach
  • Lorna W. Role
  • Richard I. Hume


We are studying the formation of synapses between embryonic chick ciliary-ganglion neurons and muscle fibers maintained in cell culture. Our assumption is that certain rules that govern synapse formation can be best understood by observing the behavior of individual cells in a controlled environment over periods of time that range from seconds to days. This observation is difficult if not impossible to achieve in intact embryos. The ability to visualize and manipulate growing neurons in vitro is a major advantage in this regard. In addition, cell cultures provide convenient and relevant bioassays that might lead to an understanding of the phenomenology of synapse formation on a molecular level. In this summary report, we describe some recent experiements in our laboratory concerning the early release of acetylcholine (ACh) from presynaptic terminals and the initial accumulation of ACh receptors (AChR) in the postsynaptic muscle membrane.


Acetylcholine Receptor Growth Cone Brain Extract Embryonic Chick AChR Cluster 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald D. Fischbach
    • 1
  • Lorna W. Role
    • 1
  • Richard I. Hume
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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