After the partial denervation or paralysis of a muscle, the remaining motor axon terminals may sprout fine, neuritic processes (terminal sprouts) which escape the endplate region of the neuromuscular junction. We previously identified a muscle-derived, protein antigen of 56,000 daltons (56 kD) which plays a necessary role in terminal sprouting. A panel of monoclonal antibodies have been produced against the 56-kD antigen, some of which also partially suppress motor axon terminal sprouting. These monoclonal antibodies define at least two different epitopes upon the surface of the antigen, one of which is necessary for it to effect its biological role in vivo.

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