Neurophysiology of the neuromuscular junction: Overview

  • Ruff R
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Abstract

This manuscript reviews the physiology of neuromuscular transmission with emphasis on four features: (1) the structure of the neuromuscular junction, (2) release of vesicles of acetylcholine from the nerve terminal, (3) the roles of postsynaptic Na(+) channels and acetylcholine receptors in converting the chemical signal from the nerve terminal into a propagated action potential on the muscle fiber, and (4) the safety factor for neuromuscular transmission. It also introduces new information about how the neuromuscular junction maintains physiological integrity during muscle fiber stretch and contraction.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Acetylcholine esterase
  • Contractility
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Neuromuscular transmission
  • Quantal transmitter release
  • Safety factor
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Sodium channels
  • Transmitter release

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Authors

  • Robert L. Ruff

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