By David Nachmansohn
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8. Changes of the concentration of acetylcholinesterase in muscle of chicken during growth. Abscissas: days of incubation and after hatching. Arrow marks day of hatching. ^AChE a s i n Fi g- 6 · the period when movements of muscle start. The concentration increases still further, but after hatching it starts to fall and 3 weeks later the values are only 10 per cent of those found on the day of hatching. At hatching the muscle fibers are small; therefore per unit of weight the number of end plates and the total surface of the fibers are high.
A high rate of hydrolysis in com bination with the high concentration of the enzyme appear pertinent in relation to the proposed role of the ester in the elementary process of conduction. A compound associated with the generation of bioelectric potentials should be metabolized at a speed comparable to that of the electrical events. Cole and Curtis (1939) found the peak of the im pedance change in the squid giant axon to be reached in about 100 μ5βα If the increased Na conductance, responsible for this process, is attributed to the action of acetylcholine, the inactivation of the ester and the return to normal Na conductance should take place within a period of time suggested by the physical recordings.
Other compounds and enzymes have been suggested to be associated with the elementary process of conduction, particularly ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and ATPase; besides many other drawbacks of such an assumption, the speed of the reaction would be inadequate. E. COINCIDENCE OF HIGH E N Z Y M E ACTIVITY AND BEGINNING OF FUNCTION DURING GROWTH If the acetylcholine system is inseparably associated with the ele mentary process of conduction in nerve and muscle cells, one should expect in the embryo and during growth close relationships between the increase in the concentration of acetylcholinesterase and the period at which certain functions develop.
Chemical and Molecular Basis of Nerve Activity by David Nachmansohn