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Video: Frog Neuromuscular Junction

Video: Frog Neuromuscular Junction var FO = { movie:"http://images.the-scientist.com/supplementary/flash/53439/bio.swf", width:"400", height:"320", majorversion:"8", build:"0"}; UFO.create(FO, "ufoDemo"); Please download the Adobe Flash Player to view this content: Frog neuromuscular junction fly-through. Shown in red is a large muscle fiber (diameter 50 micrometers) that is innervated by a myelinated axon colored in white. The interface between muscle and a

Andrea Gawrylewski

Video: Frog Neuromuscular Junction

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Frog neuromuscular junction fly-through. Shown in red is a large muscle fiber (diameter 50 micrometers) that is innervated by a myelinated axon colored in white. The interface between muscle and axon form the neuromuscular junction.

Upon approaching the neuromuscular junction its constituent 24 active zones become visible. Each active zone contains two rows of 13 synaptic vesicles (gold) that are docked at the pre-synaptic membrane and a similar number of calcium channels located in the valley between the two rows (open and closed channels are colored in blue and red, respectively). The calcium channels release calcium ions during nerve stimulation and eventually trigger the release of the neurotransmitter filled docked synaptic vesicles via sensor sites located at the bottom of each vesicle (black).

The active zone volume is filled with a reserve pool of synaptic vesicles...

Upon approaching the neuromuscular junction its constituent 24 active zones become visible. Each active zone contains two rows of 13 synaptic vesicles (gold) that are docked at the pre-synaptic membrane and a similar number of calcium channels located in the valley between the two rows (open and closed channels are colored in blue and red, respectively). The calcium channels release calcium ions during nerve stimulation and eventually trigger the release of the neurotransmitter filled docked synaptic vesicles via sensor sites located at the bottom of each vesicle (black).

The active zone volume is filled with a reserve pool of synaptic vesicles (gold) and also freely diffusing calcium ions (red) and buffer molecules (white). The movement of ions visible in the fly-through, the dynamics of calcium channel opening, and the binding of calcium ions to buffer molecules and synaptic vesicles was computed using MCell and visualized using DReAMM. The model itself was designed in silico using Blender and animated using DReAMM.

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