THE FIXATION OF TETANUS TOXIN BY SYNAPTIC MEMBRANES

Authors


  • Acknowledgements—We are grateful to Dr. J. Eichberg, Jr. for making available to us his unpublished results on ganglioside distribution, and to Mrs. D. Pope and Mr. G. Dowe for skilled technical assistance. The work was Carried out under contract (Project No. 103/474) between the Office of Naval Research of the U.S. Department of the Navy and Dr. W. E. van Heyningen, to whom we are most indebted for the benefit of discussions.

Abstract

—The ability of subfractions of disrupted synaptosomes to bind tetanus toxin has been studied. Synaptic vesicles had little toxin-fixing capacity, but a fraction believed on morphological appearance and enzymic composition to be rich in external synaptosome membranes had a toxin-fixing capacity about 10 times that of the synaptic vesicles and over twice that of the initial brain homogenate. Mitochondria also had a low toxin-fixing capacity and other membrane fractions had an intermediate value. The results are discussed in relation to the known role of ganglioside in fixing toxin.

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