Abstract Cholinergic synaptic vesicles were isolated from the electric organs of the electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) and the electric catfish (Malapterurus electricus) as well as from the diaphragm of the rat by density gradient centrifugation followed by column chromatography on Sephacryl‐1000. This was verified by both biochemical and electron microscopic criteria. Differences in size between synaptic vesicles from the various tissue sources were reflected by their elution pattern from the Sephacryl column. Specific activities of acetylcholine (ACh; in nmol/mg of protein) of chromatography‐purified vesicle fractions were 36 (electric eel), 2 (electric catfish), and 1 (rat diaphragm). Synaptic vesicles from all three sources contained ATP in addition to ACh (molar ratios of ACh/ATP, 9–12) as well as binding activity for an antibody raised against Torpedo cholinergic synaptic vesicle proteoglycan. Synaptic vesicles from rat diaphragm contained binding activity for the monoclonal antibody asv 48 raised against a rat brain 65‐kilodalton synaptic vesicle protein. Antibody asv 48 binding was absent from electric eel and electric catfish synaptic vesicles. These antibody binding results, which were obtained by a dot blot assay on isolated vesicles, directly correspond to the immuno‐cytochemical results demonstrating fluorescein isothiocyanate staining in the respective nerve terminals. Our results imply that ACh, ATP, and proteoglycan are common molecular constituents of motor nerve terminal‐derived synaptic vesicles from Torpedo to rat. In addition to ACh, both ATP and proteoglycan may play a specific role in the process of cholinergic signal transmission.
Journal of Neurochemistry – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 1986
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