A Core Facility for the Study of Neurotoxins of Biological Origin
JEFFERSON MEDICAL COLL PHILADELPHIA PADEPT OF MEDICINE
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Studies have been done on a variety of toxins that affect the nervous system. The toxins of major interest have been dendrotoxin, tetrodotoxin, saxitoxin, botulinum neurotoxin, tetanus toxin and crotoxin. Experiments have been conducted mainly on three types of tissue preparations i. brain synaptosomes, ii. phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm and iii. cells grown in tissue culture, including neuroblastoma cells and adrenal medullary tumor cells. The major accomplishments have been i. isolation of homogeneous preparations of dendrotoxin, ii. partial characterization of dendrotoxin binding sites, iii. partial characterization of tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin binding properties, using channels inserted into lipid membranes, iv. the discovery of an intracellular effect mediated by tetanus toxin, this being impaired mobilization of protein kinase C, v. a study of raiolabeled crotoxin binding to brain slices, and vi a pharmacological characterization of crotoxin binding to cholinergic nerve endings.