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J Vis Exp. 2014 Jan 11;(83):e51162. doi: 10.3791/51162.

Dissection of the transversus abdominis muscle for whole-mount neuromuscular junction analysis.

Author information

1
Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

Abstract

Analysis of neuromuscular junction morphology can give important insight into the physiological status of a given motor neuron. Analysis of thin flat muscles can offer significant advantage over traditionally used thicker muscles, such as those from the hind limb (e.g. gastrocnemius). Thin muscles allow for comprehensive overview of the entire innervation pattern for a given muscle, which in turn permits identification of selectively vulnerable pools of motor neurons. These muscles also allow analysis of parameters such as motor unit size, axonal branching, and terminal/nodal sprouting. A common obstacle in using such muscles is gaining the technical expertise to dissect them. In this video, we detail the protocol for dissecting the transversus abdominis (TVA) muscle from young mice and performing immunofluorescence to visualize axons and neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). We demonstrate that this technique gives a complete overview of the innervation pattern of the TVA muscle and can be used to investigate NMJ pathology in a mouse model of the childhood motor neuron disease, spinal muscular atrophy.

PMID:
24457471
PMCID:
PMC4089412
DOI:
10.3791/51162
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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