Nerve Trophic Function: In vitro Assay of Effects of Nerve Tissue on Muscle Cholinesterase Activity

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Science  15 Jan 1971:
Vol. 171, Issue 3967, pp. 187-189
DOI: 10.1126/science.171.3967.187


The effects of tissue explants and nerve homogenates on cholinesterase activity of muscle of the newt Triturus in organ culture were measured. Sensory ganglia, ganglia separated from muscle by a Millipore filter, spinal cord, liver, and nerve homogenates produced greater activity of muscle cholinesterase than occurred in untreated muscle cultured for the same period of time. Boiled ganglia, kidney, oviduct, and spleen were ineffective. This procedure serves as a convenient bioassay for a neurotrophic process and indicates that the trophic effect is mediated by a diffusible chemical substance produced by nerves.