Intact and slit nerve fibers of the squid Sepioteuthis sepioidea were incubated in a 50-nM solution of [125I] alpha-bungarotoxin in artificial seawater, in the absence and in the presence of D-tubocurarine (10(-4) M). The distribution of the radioactive label was then determined by electron microscope autoradiography. It was found that, in the fibers exposed solely to the radioactive toxin, the label was located mainly at the axon-Schwann cell boundary in the intact nerve fibers or at the axonal edge of the Schwann cell layer in the axon-free nerve fiber sheaths. Label was also present in those regions of the Schwann cell layer rich in intercellular channels. No signs of radioactivity were observed in the nerve fibers exposed to the labeled toxin in the presence of D-tubocurarine. These results indicate that the acetycholine receptors previously found in the Schwann cell plasma membrane are mainly located over the cell surfaces facing the neighboring axon and the adjacent Schwann cells. These findings represent a further advance in the understanding of the relationship between the axon and its satellite Schwann cell.

This content is only available as a PDF.