Journal article

Autonomic neuromuscular junctions

Madeleine R Di Natale, Martin J Stebbing, John B Furness



This review traces the history of the discovery and subsequent understanding of smooth muscle cells and their motor innervation. Smooth muscle tissue is made up of thousands of very small, individual, electrically connected, muscle cells. Each axon that enters a smooth muscle tissue branches extensively to form a terminal arbour that comes close to hundreds of smooth muscle cells. The branches of the terminal arbour are varicose, and each varicosity, of which there can be thousands, contains numerous transmitter storage vesicles. However, the probability of an individual varicosity releasing transmitter onto the adjacent muscle cells when an action potential passes is low. Many axons influen..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We are indebted to Dr. James Brock, Professor Giorgio Gabella and Dr. Robin McAllen for insightful comments and discussion that have significantly improved the manuscript. We thank Cecile Castellano for the provision of the micrograph of Fig. 2C. This work was supported by NIH grant, The Virtual Stomach Virtual Stomach (1OT2OD030538) , Principal Investigators Leo Cheng (University of Auckland) and Zhongming Liu (University of Michigan) .