Motor nerve sprouting and acetylcholine receptors

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Science  17 Mar 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4334, pp. 1223-1225
DOI: 10.1126/science.204007


Sprouting of motor nerve terminals was evoked by functional denervation of skeletal muscles brought about by presynaptic blockade or disuse. The amount of sprouting, determined by morphometric measurement, was correlated with the level of extrajunctional acetylcholine receptors. Sprouting was inhibited by blockade of acetylcholine receptors with alpha-bungarotoxin. Extrajunctional acetylcholine receptors may play an important role in eliciting motor nerve terminal sprouting.