Agrin becomes concentrated at neuroeffector junctions in developing rodent urinary bladder

J. Gingras, J. Spicer, M. Altares, Q. Zhu, G. A. Kuchel, Michael J Ferns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The formation of somatic neuromuscular junctions in skeletal muscle is regulated by an extracellular matrix protein called agrin. Here, we have examined the expression and localization of agrin during development of the rodent urinary bladder, as a first step to examining its possible role at autonomic neuroeffector junctions in smooth muscle. We have found that agrin is expressed on the surface of developing smooth muscle cells and in the basement membrane underlying the urothelium. More importantly, agrin is progressively concentrated at parasympathetic varicosities during postnatal development and is present at virtually all junctions in mature muscle. Reverse transcription/polymerase chain reaction analysis has shown that pelvic ganglion neurons that innervate the bladder express LN/z8 agrin, whereas bladder smooth muscle expresses LN/z- agrin. Together, these results demonstrate that nerve and/or muscle agrin becomes localized at cholinergic parasympathetic varicosities in smooth muscle, where it could play a role in the maturation of the neuroeffector junction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-125
Number of pages11
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Agrin
  • Development
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Mouse
  • Parasympathetic neuroeffector junction
  • Pelvic ganglion neurons
  • Rat (Sprague Dawley)
  • Smooth muscle
  • Urinary bladder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Agrin becomes concentrated at neuroeffector junctions in developing rodent urinary bladder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this