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Development 1990 Sep 01;1101:51-61.
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Induction of a specialized muscle basal lamina at chimaeric synapses in culture.

Swenarchuk LE , Champaneria S , Anderson MJ .

To identify mechanisms that regulate the formation of the neuromuscular junction, we examined the cellular origin of a heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) that becomes highly concentrated within the synaptic cleft during the initial deposition of the junctional basal lamina. Using cultured nerve and muscle cells from anuran and urodele embryos, we prepared species-chimaeric synapses that displayed spontaneous cholinergic potentials, and eventually developed organized accumulations of acetylcholine receptors and HSPG at the sites of nerve-muscle contact. To determine the cellular origin of synaptic HSPG molecules, these chimaeric junctions were stained with both species-specific and cross-reactive monoclonal antibodies, labeled with contrasting fluorochromes. Our results demonstrate that synaptic HSPG is derived almost exclusively from muscle. Since it has already been shown that muscle cells can assemble virtually all of the known constituents of the junctional basal lamina into organized surface accumulations, without any input from nerve cells, we consider the possibility that the specialized synaptic basal lamina may be generated primarily by the myofibre, in response to another 'inductive' positional signal at the site of nerve-muscle contact.

PubMed ID: 2081470

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: sdc2
Antibodies: Sartorial Muscle Ab1