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Differences in the ability of neonatal and adult denervated muscle to accumulated acetylcholinesterase at the old sites of innervation


, : Differences in the ability of neonatal and adult denervated muscle to accumulated acetylcholinesterase at the old sites of innervation. Developmental Biology 117(1): 13-23

In adult rat sternocleidomastoid muscle, AChE is concentrated in the region rich in motor end-plates (MEP). All major AChE forms, "16 S", "10 S", and "4 S," are accumulated at high levels, and not only "16 S", AChE. After denervation, muscle AChE decreases; 2 weeks after denervation, low levels (20-40% of control) are reached for all forms. During the following weeks, a slow but steady increase in "10 S" and "16 S" AChE occurs in the denervated muscle. At this stage, all forms are again observed to be highly concentrated in the region containing the old sites of innervation. Thus, in adult rat muscle the structures able to accumulate "16 S", "10 S", and "4 S" AChE in the MEP-rich regions remain several months after denervation. In normal young rat sternocleidomastoid muscle at birth, all AChE forms are already accumulated in the MEP-rich region. After denervation at birth, the denervated muscle loses its ability to keep a high concentration of "4 S", "10 S", and "16 S" AChE in the old MEP-rich region. All AChE forms are still present 1 month after denervation, but they are decreased and diffusedly distributed over the whole length of the muscle. In particular, "16 S" AChE is detected in the same proportion (10-15%) all along the denervated muscle. Thus, the diffuse distribution of AChE, and especially "16 S" AChE, after neonatal denervation, contrasts with the maintained accumulation observed in adult denervated muscle. It seems that denervation of young muscle results in a specific loss of the muscle ability to concentrate high levels of all AChE forms at the old sites of innervation.

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