Further studies on the control of ACh sensitivity by muscle activity in the rat

J Physiol. 1975 Nov;252(3):603-26. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1975.sp011161.


1. Denervated rat soleus muscles were stimulated directly through chronically implanted electrodes and the influence of different amounts and patterns of stimuli on the acetylcholine (ACh) sensitivity of the muscle was studied. The number of stimuli was varied by giving similar trains of stimuli (10 Hz for 10 sec) at different intervals (0 to 12 hr). The pattern of stimulation was varied by giving different trains of stimuli (100 Hz for 1 sec, 10 Hz for 10 sec and 1 Hz continuously) as the same average frequency of stimulation (1 Hz). 2. Stimulation usually started 5 days after the denervation when ACh hypersensitivity was fully developed. Most stimulation procedures reduced extrajunctional ACh sensitivity to normal or below normal values within 5-21 days, and these levels were maintained on prolonged stimulation. 3. The rate at which ACh hypersensitivity disappeared increased with increasing amount and frequency of stimulation. However, as few as 100 stimuli given every 5-5 hr for 3 weeks caused a tenfold reduction of sensitivity. 4. The stimulation had little or no effect on the ACh sensitivity at the end plate. Along the rest of the fibre the sensitivity was reduced at approximately the same rate except near the tendons where it appeared to fall more slowly in some fibres. 5. The stimulation restored the resting membrane potential of the denervated fibres to normal.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Male
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle Denervation
  • Muscles / drug effects*
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Neuromuscular Junction / physiology
  • Rats
  • Time Factors


  • Acetylcholine