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Motor neurons project from the central nervous system to innervate muscle cells to either directly or indirectly control their activity. Contact between a motor neuron and muscle cell is usually via a specialized synapse called a neuromuscular junction.
The wiring of peripheral neural circuits that regulate heart rate is poorly understood. In this study, authors used tissue clearing for high-resolution characterization of nerves in the heart in 3D and transgenic and novel viral vector approaches to identify peripheral parasympathetic and sympathetic neuronal populations involved in heart rate control in mice.
The subtype of motor neurons that is most likely to degenerate early in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is prone to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in mice, owing to low levels of SIL1, an ER-associated protein.