Buckholt, Michael Allan
Gibson, Daniel G
Previous MQP studies on horseshoe crab muscles provided several lines of evidence that acetylcholine (ACh) is their neuromuscular junction (NMJ) transmitter. ACh blockers and acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies reduced responses to neuronally evoked contractions (Fuller, 2006; Mallozzi, 2005; Vacher, 2007). We used a histochemical approach to further confirm the presence of ACh and its receptor at NMJs. Whole mounts and acrylic-embedded sections were treated with antibodies that were fluorescent, enzymatic, or electron-opaque. Polyclonal anti-ACh confirmed the presence of ACh in horseshoe crab leg nerves. Monoclonal anti-AChR demonstrated anti-AChR in some nerves, though less strongly. Immunoelectron microscopy has produced confirmatory micrographs for ACh.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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Biology and Biotechnology