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THE ROLE OF ACETYLCHOLINE AS A NEUROTROPHIC TRANSMITTER *

D. Drachman
Published 1974 · Chemistry

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T h e hypothesis that acetylcholine (ACh) may play an important role as a mediator of iieurotropliic influences has been considered1 almost since its discovery as the natural neuromuscular transmitter. In contrast to other hypothetical mediators, ACh is an identifiable substance that can readily be measured and manipulated; i t therefore lends itself to experimental analysis. Although the evidence is far from complete, it appears that cholinergic transmission plays a significant, though not an exclusive part in the trophic relationships between motor nerves and skeletal muscles. 111 this presentation the emphasis will be on the experimental strategies used to approach the problem, with an attempt to assess their validity and uncertainties as critically as possible. By way of background, the following brief review of present concepts of cholinergic transmission is included.
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