Dynamics of nerve-muscle interaction in developing and mature neuromuscular junctions

Physiol Rev. 1995 Oct;75(4):789-834. doi: 10.1152/physrev.1995.75.4.789.


Neuromuscular connections have long served as models of synaptic structure and function. They also provide illuminating insights into the dynamic cell-cell interactions governing synaptogenesis, neuromuscular differentiation, and the maintenance of effective function. This paper reviews recent advances in our understanding of the regulatory and inductive interactions involved in motor axon pathfinding, target recognition, bidirectional control of gene expression during synapse formation, motoneuron cell death, terminal rearrangement, and the ongoing remodeling of synaptic number, structure, and function to adjust to growth and changes in use.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / biosynthesis
  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Cell Death
  • Chick Embryo
  • Drosophila
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Feedback
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motor Endplate / physiology
  • Motor Neurons / cytology
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Muscle Development
  • Muscle, Skeletal / embryology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / growth & development
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Neuromuscular Junction / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology
  • Zebrafish


  • Receptors, Cholinergic
  • Acetylcholinesterase