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Neurosci Res. 1993 Feb;16(2):125-30.

Ultrastructural localization of protein kinase C beta-subspecies in the axon terminal of rat neuromuscular junction.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Kobe University School of Medicine, Japan.


Ultrastructural localization of protein kinase C (PKC) beta-subspecies in neuromuscular junctions of the rat lumbrical muscle was investigated by the immunoperoxidase and immunofluorescence methods. By light microscopy, PKC beta-like immunoreactivity (PKC beta-LIR) was found in the axon terminal expansions as well as in the preterminal axons. By confocal laser scanning microscopy, the staining for PKC beta-like immunoreactivity was more intense in the presynaptic regions just in contact with the acetylcholine receptor stained by FITC-alpha-bungarotoxin. By electron microscopy, PKC beta-like immunoreactivity was distributed non-uniformly in the terminal expansions. In the terminal expansions, PKC beta-like immunoreactivity was accumulated in the presynaptic regions in contact with the post-synaptic folds. This accumulation was approximately 0.1-0.2 microns in diameter, which comprised a part of the presynaptic plasma membrane and a group of synaptic vesicles adjacent to it. Weak immunoreactivity was also found diffusely in the axoplasmic matrix. The discrete presynaptic accumulation of PKC beta-subspecies may represent the strategical localization specialized for the effective regulation of neurotransmitter release.

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