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Anat Rec. 1983 Nov;207(3):473-85.

Morphogenesis of motor endplates along the proximodistal axis of the mouse hindlimb.


The morphogenesis of motor endplates along the proximodistal hindlimb axis is described for the mouse using nonspecific cholinesterase histochemistry and electron microscopy. There is a two day lag in relative stages of development between a proximal muscle (rectus femoris, RF) and a distal muscle (flexor hallucis brevis, FHB). Cholinesterase activity first appears in the RF on embryonic day 15 and the FHB on embryonic day 17. In the following days, faint wisps of reaction product thicken, form small ovals on myotubes, and finally enlarge with internal ramifications as the muscle fibers increase in diameter. Axons first enter the RF between embryonic days 12 and 13, and contact both embryonic cells (most likely myoblasts) and cells assumed to be Schwann cells. Myotubes are present in the RF the following day. The first signs of synapse formation-appearance of symmetrical electron opaque membrane patches, and dense cored and synaptic vesicles--occur between axons and myotubes in the RF on embryonic day 15. During the following days basal lamina material accumulates in the synaptic cleft, coated vesicles and postjunctional folds appear in the myotubes, and synaptic vesicles accumulate in the axon terminals. By postnatal day 42 the axon terminals lay in primary gutters opposite deep secondary postjunctional folds, and are separated and capped by Schwann cell processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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