Neuregulins and erbB receptors at neuromuscular junctions and at agrin-induced postsynaptic-like apparatus in skeletal muscle. Academic Article uri icon


  • We demonstrate by immunohistochemistry that at least two isoforms of neuregulin (NRG) are concentrated at neuromuscular junctions in adult rat muscles. One is NRGbeta3, a secreted protein which is bound to basal lamina that occupies the synaptic cleft. The other(s), NRG-a, is in the muscle fibers' plasma membrane. We show further that muscle NRG, including NRG-a, is concentrated at postsynaptic-like apparatus induced to form in the extrajunctional region of the soleus muscle by exposure to neural agrin. The agrin-induced postsynaptic-like apparatus also includes aggregates of the NRG receptors erbB2 and erbB3 as does postsynaptic apparatus at neuromuscular junctions. These findings together with those of others suggest a mechanism by which neural agrin induces the expression of epsilon-AChR subunits in postsynaptic-like apparatus, and they support the hypothesis that agrin has a similar function at neuromuscular junctions.

published proceedings

  • Mol Cell Neurosci

author list (cited authors)

  • Rimer, M., Cohen, I., Lmo, T., Burden, S. J., & McMahan, U. J.

citation count

  • 62

complete list of authors

  • Rimer, M||Cohen, I||Lømo, T||Burden, SJ||McMahan, UJ

publication date

  • January 1998