Acetylcholine in the Electric Organ of Torpedo


Feldberg and Fessard1 have shown that the electric organ of Torpedo marmorata is activated by acetylcholine (ACh) and that it contains a substance like ACh, as determined by bioassay, equivalent to between 40 and 100 µg ACh/g tissue. It has been suggested recently2,3 that not all the material extracted from nervous tissue and bioassayed as ACh is in fact ACh. Since, so far as we are aware, the ACh-like activity extracted from Torpedo is the highest reported for any vertebrate tissue, confirmation of the nature of the active substance and a study of its metabolism in the electric organ are of interest. As a necessary preliminary we have reinvestigated the content of ACh by three different extraction procedures.


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MORRIS, D., BULL, G. & HEBB, C. Acetylcholine in the Electric Organ of Torpedo. Nature 207, 1295 (1965).

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