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Effects of innervation on acetylcholine sensitivity of developing muscle in vitro.

By W Betz and M Osborne


1. Chick embryo skeletal muscle fibres were grown in culture. The acetylcholine (AACh) sensitivity of non-innervated fibres was compared with that of fibres innervated in vitro by chick embryo ciliary ganglion neurones. 2. The general pattern of ACh sensitivity was unchanged by innervation: ACh hot spots were superimposed on a background of uniform ACh sensitivity. 3. Quantitative comparisons revealed two differences between non-innervated and innervated fibres. First, hot spots were encountered about one third more often on innervated fibres. Secondly, about one-third of the hot spots on innervated fibres had significantly higher ACh sensitivities than the remainder, which were similar to those on control fibres. 4. Apossible explanation of these results is that nerves which form synapses induce the appearanceof end-plates which have higher ACh sensitivities than the pre-existing ACh hot spots

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