Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3Rs) are enriched at postsynaptic membrane compartments of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), surrounding the subsynaptic nuclei and close to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) of the motor endplate. At the endplate level, it has been proposed that nerve-dependent electrical activity might trigger IP3-associated, local Ca2+ signals not only involved in excitation–transcription (ET) coupling but also crucial to the development and stabilization of the NMJ itself. The present study was undertaken to examine whether denervation affects the subsynaptic IP3R distribution in skeletal muscles and which are the underlying mechanisms. Fluorescence microscopy, carried out on in vivo denervated muscles (following sciatectomy) and in vitro denervated skeletal muscle fibers from flexor digitorum brevis (FDB), indicates that denervation causes a reduction in the subsynaptic IP3R1-stained region, and such a decrease appears to be determined by the lack of muscle electrical activity, as judged by partial reversal upon field electrical stimulation of in vitro denervated skeletal muscle fibers.

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