New Insights into the Mammalian Neuromuscular Junction
Researchers from Anatomy@Edinburgh have obtained new insights into the mammalian neuromuscular junction (NMJ) – the connection between nerve and muscle – that may help to guide future studies of human disease.
In a study published by the Journal of Anatomy direct comparison of NMJs from 6 species (mouse, cat, dog, sheep, pig, human) revealed that sheep and human NMJs are the most similar in overall structure. In conditions where NMJs break down (e.g. motor neurone disease), mouse models are usually used to study the disease and develop treatments. The present study suggests that sheep may now offer a more closely matched model for future research into diseases affecting the human NMJ.
The paper in the Journal of Anatomy and is open access: Comparative anatomy of the mammalian neuromuscular junction.
Human NMJs in health and disease:
Tools for measuring NMJs: