A. S. Cohen and A. J. Olek. An extract of lionfish (Pterois volitans) spine tissue contains acetylcholine and a toxin that affects neuromuscular transmission. Toxicon 27, 1367-1376, 1989.-A soluble toxic extract derived from spine tissue of the lionfish (Pterois volitans) decreased heart rate and force of contraction in isolated clam and frog hearts. These actions were due to the presence of micromolar concentrations of acetylcholine in the extract. Toxicity was retained after hydrolysis of acetylcholine by exogenous acetylcholinesterase, but heart function was no longer affected. Toxin treated in this way induced muscle fibrillation in an isolated nerve-muscle preparation, followed by blockade of neuromuscular transmission. Bursts of transient depolarizations were recorded at the muscle endplate shortly after toxin addition that correlated in time with the duration of toxin-induced muscle fibrillation. These effects are thought to be due to the increased release and then depletion of acetylcholine from the nerve terminal. © 1989.
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