Postmetamorphic development of neuromuscular junctions and muscle fibers in the frog cutaneous pectoris Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Synaptic size, synaptic remodelling, polyneuronal innervation, and synaptic efficacy of neuromuscular junctions were studied as a function of growth in cutaneous pectoris muscles of postmetamorphic Rana pipiens. Recently metamorphosed frogs grew rapidly, and this growth was accompanied by hypertrophy of muscle fibers, myogenesis, and increases in the size and complexity of neuromuscular junctions. There were pronounced gradients in pre- and postsynaptic size across the width of the muscle, with neuromuscular junctions and muscle fibers near the medial edge being smaller than in more lateral regions. The incidence of polyneuronal innervation, measured physiologically and histologically, was also higher near the medial edge. Growth-associated declines in all measures of polyneuronal innervation indicated that synapse elimination occurs throughout life. Electrophysiology also demonstrated regional differences in synaptic efficacy and showed that doubly innervated junctions have lower synaptic efficacy than singly innervated junctions. Repeated, in vivo observations revealed extensive growth and remodelling of motor nerve terminals and confirmed that synapse elimination is a slow process. It was concluded that some processes normally associated with embryonic development persist long into adulthood in frog muscles.

author list (cited authors)

  • Herrera, A. A., Banner, L. R., Werle, M. J., Regnier, M., & Stevens, N. N.

citation count

  • 13

publication date

  • January 1991

publisher