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The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is the site of communication between motor nerve axons and muscle fibres. It is composed of four specialised cell types: motor neurons, Schwann cells, muscle fibres and the recently discovered kranocytes. The function of the NMJ is to transmit signals from the motor neuron to the skeletal muscle fibre quickly and reliably, to ensure precise control of skeletal muscle contraction and therefore voluntary movement. The reliability of transmission is aided by specialised architecture (multiple active zones, junctional folds) that promotes high levels of transmitter release, large and reliable postsynaptic responses to transmitter binding and rapid termination of signalling events. In the last century, the structure and function of the NMJ has been extensively studied, which has been instrumental in uncovering many of the fundamental processes of chemical synaptic transmission.
|Publication Type:||Book Chapter|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences|
|Publisher:||John Wiley & Sons|
|Copyright:||© 2011 John Wiley & Sons|
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