For the cat soleus nerve-muscle system, motor nerve section 48 hr prior to in situ experiment causes certain characteristic transmission losses. Responses to repetitive stimulation are sharply altered: The capacity to transmit iterative stimulation is severely reduced; post-tetanic potentiation and the post-tetanic repetition of soleus nerve terminals responsible for it are also greatly impaired; a phenomenon of post-tetanic depression was frequently observed. However, function of the extramuscular axons appears normal and single impulse transmission is usually not seriously affected. The loss of reactivity to repetitive stimulation has been traced to soleus motor nerve terminals. In view of these data and the known absence of denervation hypersensitivity at this time, the earliest functional failure may be said to occur in the unmyelinated terminals. This subacutely denervated preparation therefore offers a simple means of evaluating motor nerve terminal responsiveness.

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