Electrophysiological Characterization of Neuromuscular Synaptic Dysfunction in Mice

Yoshie Sugiura, Fujun Chen, Yun Liu, Weichun Lin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Emerging evidence suggests that synaptic dysfunction occurs prior to neuronal loss in neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Therefore, monitoring synaptic activity during early stages of neurodegeneration may provide valuable information for the development of diagnostic and/or therapeutic strategies. Here, we describe an electrophysiological method routinely applied in our laboratory for investigating synaptic activity of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), the synaptic connection between motoneurons and skeletal muscles. Using conventional intracellular sharp electrodes, both spontaneous synaptic activity (miniature end-plate potentials) and evoked synaptic activity (end-plate potentials) can be readily recorded in acutely isolated nerve–muscle preparations. This method can also be adapted to various simulation protocols for studying short-term plasticity of neuromuscular synapses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeurodegeneration
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • End-plate potential
  • Intracellular recording
  • Miniature end-plate potential
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuromuscular junction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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