Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors from the avian central nervous system were examined for developmental changes that correlated with the differentiation of cholinergic synapses. In contrast to previous studies that showed a single molecular weight form of muscarinic receptors in the mature central nervous system, the current study of receptors from embryonic and newly hatched chick retina showed the presence of two electrophoretic forms having apparent molecular weights of 86,200 ± 400 and 72,200 ± 300. Two receptor forms also were observed in embryonic cerebrum, optic tectum, and cerebellum. Each form was present, although decreased in molecular weight by 6000, after treatment with deglycosylating enzymes, consistent with molecular differences occurring in the protein portions, rather than the carbohydrate portions, of the molecules. The relative proportions of the high and low molecular weight receptors in retina showed a striking inversion during development. Before synaptogenesis, receptors were mainly of M(r) 86,000, whereas after synaptogenesis, receptors were mainly of M(r) 72,000. Development of a predominantly low molecular weight receptor population also occurred in aggregate, but not monolayer, cell culture, suggesting a possible role for cell-cell interactions in triggering the change. Pulse-chase labeling of receptors on cultured cells indicated that both forms were present on the cell surface; the labeled M(r) 86,000 population had a half-life of 5 hr, whereas the labeled M(r) 72,000 population had half-life of 19 hr. The change in size of muscarinic receptors during development may reflect the action of regulatory mechanisms critical to the proper assembly and function of synapses in the central nervous system.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - 1985|
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