Choline Acetyltransferase Activity Is Increased in Combined Cultures of Spinal Cord and Muscle Cells from Mice

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Science  09 Nov 1973:
Vol. 182, Issue 4112, pp. 588-589
DOI: 10.1126/science.182.4112.588


The activity of choline acetyltransferase was more than tenfold greater in combined cultures of spinal cord and muscle cells than in cultures of spinal cord cells alone. This increase was associated with the formation of functional neuromuscular junctions in culture. Counts of silver-stained cells and determinations of other enzyme activities indicated that the increased choline acetyltransferase activity was not due to nonspecific neuronal survival but reflected greater activity in the surviving neurons. Hence, muscle had a marked, highly specific trophic effect on the cholinergic neurons that innervated it.