Journal article

Early effects of carbachol on the morphology of motor endplates of mammalian skeletal muscle fibers

  • Voigt, Tilman Institute of Anatomy, University of Fribourg, Switzerland - Institute of Anatomy, University of Bern, Switzerland
Published in:
  • Muscle & Nerve. - 2010, vol. 41, no. 3, p. 399 - 405
English Long-term disturbance of the calcium homeostasis of motor endplates (MEPs) causes necrosis of muscle fibers. The onset of morphological changes in response to this disturbance, particularly in relation to the fiber type, is presently unknown. Omohyoid muscles of mice were incubated for 1-30 minutes in 0.1 mM carbachol, an acetylcholine agonist that causes an inward calcium current. In these muscles, the structural changes of the sarcomeres and the MEP sarcoplasm were evaluated at the light- and electron-microscopic level. Predominantly in type I fibers, carbachol incubation resulted in strong contractures of the sarcomeres underlying the MEPs. Owing to these contractures, the usual beret-like form of the MEP-associated sarcoplasm was deformed into a mushroom-like body. Consequently, the squeezed MEPs partially overlapped the adjacent muscle fiber segments. There are no signs of contractures below the MEPs if muscles were incubated in carbachol in calcium-free Tyrode's solution. Carbachol induced inward calcium current and produced fiber-type-specific contractures. This finding points to differences in the handling of calcium in MEPs. Possible mechanisms for these fiber-type-specific differences caused by carbachol-induced calcium entry are assessed.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Département de Médecine
  • English
Biological sciences
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