Neuromuscular Junction Formation, Aging, and Disorders

Lei Li, Wencheng Xiong, Lin Mei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Synapses, the fundamental unit in neuronal circuits, are critical for learning and memory, perception, thinking, and reaction. The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a synapse formed between motoneurons and skeletal muscle fibers that is covered by Schwann cells (SCs). It is essential for controlling muscle contraction. NMJ formation requires intimate interactions among motoneurons, muscles, and SCs. Deficits in NMJ formation and maintenance cause neuromuscular disorders, including congenital myasthenic syndrome and myasthenia gravis. NMJ decline occurs in aged animals and may appear before clinical presentation of motoneuron disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We review recent findings in NMJ formation, maintenance, neuromuscular disorders, and aging of the NMJ, focusing on communications among motoneurons, muscles and SCs, and underlying mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-188
Number of pages30
JournalAnnual Review of Physiology
Volume80
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 10 2018

Fingerprint

Neuromuscular Junction
Motor Neurons
Schwann Cells
Synapses
Muscle Cells
Neuromuscular Junction Diseases
Congenital Myasthenic Syndromes
Maintenance
Myasthenia Gravis
Skeletal Muscle Fibers
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Muscle Contraction
Communication
Learning

Keywords

  • Agrin-Lrp4-MuSK signaling
  • NMJ disorders
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Retrograde signaling
  • Schwann cells
  • Wnt signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

Cite this

Neuromuscular Junction Formation, Aging, and Disorders. / Li, Lei; Xiong, Wencheng; Mei, Lin.

In: Annual Review of Physiology, Vol. 80, 10.02.2018, p. 159-188.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Li, Lei ; Xiong, Wencheng ; Mei, Lin. / Neuromuscular Junction Formation, Aging, and Disorders. In: Annual Review of Physiology. 2018 ; Vol. 80. pp. 159-188.
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