1. The effects of disuse on the activity of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) have been investigated in the sciatic nerve and leg muscles of the rat. 2. Disuse was produced by blockade of nerve conduction by repeated subperineurial injection of tetrodotoxin (TTX), and the effects were compared to those of denervation. 3. After 8 days of disuse there was no change in neural ChAT activity in the sciatic nerves, anterior roots or intramuscular terminals. By contrast, surgical section of the sciatic nerve resulted in a marked decrease of ChAT in the nerve terminals. 4. Similarly, after 8 days of disuse there was no change in neural AChE activity in the sciatic nerves or anterior roots. 5. AChE activity in the disused muscles decreased by more than 50%, which was comparable to the effect of surgical denervation. 6. These results indicate that disuse produced by TTX blockade of nerve conduction does not affect the cholinergic enzymes ChAT and AChE in nerves, but does lead to a significant decrease in muscle AChE.
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