Letter | Published:

Synaptic channel gating differences at snake twitch and slow neuromuscular junctions

Nature volume 274, pages 902904 (31 August 1978) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Two readily distinguishable skeletal muscle fibre types are found in the muscles of lower vertebrates, including amphibians, birds, fishes and reptiles1: twitch and slow fibres. In response to membrane depolarisation the twitch fibre contracts briefly, whereas the slow fibre can develop and maintain tension for long periods. The slow fibres each have several endplates which differ anatomically from the twitch fibre's single endplate1,2 and may have a direct role in the maintained contractile behaviour. We report here studies of the synaptic conductance change mediated by acetylcholine (ACh, the natural chemical agonist) in these fibres and document a difference in the voltage dependence of endplate channel lifetime which correlates with muscle type. This difference may be mediated by an altered expression of the gating mechanism of the synaptic channel.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont 05401

    • V. E. DIONNE
    •  & R. L. PARSONS

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/274902a0

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