Neonatal neuromuscular parameters vary in susceptibility to postnatal ACTH/MSH 4-10 administration

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Adrenocorticotropic Hormone; Animals; Animals, Newborn; Behavior, Animal; Electrophysiology; Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones; Motor Endplate; Muscles; Neuromuscular Junction; Peptide Fragments; Rats; Rats, Inbred Strains




Neonatal Sprague-Dawley rats administered the fragment of adrenocorticotropic hormone ACTH/MSH 4-10 (10 micrograms/kg/daily, SC) postnatally, show marked differences in the plasticity of the functional and morphological parameters of their neuromuscular system. Initial contraction durations of the immature fast muscle, extensor digitorum longus (EDL), are shorter than saline-treated controls indicating accelerated development. Qualitative studies of the developing EDL neuromuscular junctions as viewed by the scanning electron microscope and quantitative analysis permitted by light microscopy confirms that ACTH/MSH 4-10 affects the maturation of the endplate region. Motor behavior of rat pups demonstrates an age-related difference in the susceptibility to this peptide fragment; one week old neonates showing no response to ACTH/MSH 4-10, two week old pups showing an increase in motor activity. The results indicate that while the developing neuromuscular system is sensitive to the input of ACTH/MSH peptide treatment, this susceptibility is age-related.

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Citation: Peptides. 1988 Jan-Feb;9(1):151-6.

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