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Synaptic dynamics at the neuromuscular junction: Mechanisms and models

Van Essen, David C. and Gordon, H. and Soha, J. M. and Fraser, S. E. (1990) Synaptic dynamics at the neuromuscular junction: Mechanisms and models. Journal of Neurobiology, 21 (1). pp. 223-249. ISSN 0022-3034. doi:10.1002/neu.480210115.

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During development, the neuromuscular junction passes through a stage of extensive polyinnervation followed by a period of wholesale synapse elimination. In this report we discuss mechanisms and interactions that could mediate many of the key aspects of these important developmental events. Our emphasis is on (1) establishing an overall conceptual framework within which the role of many distinct cellular interactions and molecular factors can be evaluated, and (2) generating computer simulations that systematically test the adequacy of different models in accounting for a wide range of biological data. Our analysis indicates that several relatively simple mechanisms are each capable of explaining a variety of experimental observations. On the other hand, no one mechanism can account for the full spectrum of experimental results. Thus, it is important to consider models that are based on interactions among multiple mechanisms. A potentially powerful combination is one based on (1) a scaffold within the basal lamina or in the postsynaptic membrane which is induced by nerve terminals and which serves to stabilize terminals by a positive feedback mechanism; (2) a sprouting factor whose release by muscle fibers is down-regulated by activity and perhaps other factors; and (3) an intrinsic tendency of motor neurons to withdraw some connections while allowing others to grow.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Van Essen, David C.0000-0001-7044-4721
Gordon, H.0000-0002-1822-3224
Fraser, S. E.0000-0002-5377-0223
Additional Information:© 1990 John Wiley & Sons. Received June 14, 1989; accepted August 14, 1989. Part of this work was supported by NSF grant BNS 8708213 to D.V.E., NIH grant NS 25210 to S.E.F. and by NIH training grants T32 GM07737 and GM07616 to H.G. and J.M.S. We thank the Neuroscience Institute at Rockefeller University for supporting workshops that were instrumental in initiating this project., K. Cramer for comments on the manuscript, S. Kallenbah for typing, and D. Bilitch for assistance with the computer simulations.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFBNS 8708213
NIHNS 25210
NIH Predoctoral Training GrantT32 GM07737
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151230-235515126
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Official Citation:Van Essen, D. C., Gordon, H., Soha, J. M. and Fraser, S. E. (1990), Synaptic dynamics at the neuromuscular junction: Mechanisms and models. J. Neurobiol., 21: 223–249. doi: 10.1002/neu.480210115
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:63280
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:27 Jan 2016 23:56
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:14

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