Neuromuscular juntion and exocytosis – how botox works

Table of Content

Exocytosis and Neuromuscular Junction
The Underlying Affect of Botox in our System

Botulinum neurotoxin A, (BoNT-A), commonly known as Botox, is a type of neurotoxin that targets the neuromuscular junction (Merchand-Pauvert, V., Aymard, C., Giboin, L., Dominici, F., Rossi, A., & Mazzocchino, R. (2012)). The neurotoxin is produced by an anaerobic bacterium of the Clostridium protein that is very famous and commonly known as it is used for cosmetic purposes such as smoothening wrinkles on our faces, migraines and so on. Botulinum neurotoxin A is so successful in what it is intended to do because of its natural ability to target the neuromuscular junction. Botox is a natural neurotoxin that naturally has an affinity and attraction to target the neuromuscular junction when it is injected into anima (Merchand-Pauvert, V. et. al, (2012)). The neuromuscular junction is a specialized type of synapse formed between the muscle cells and neurons.

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Because of the Botox, when it is injected it causes a disturbance between the synapses. Botulinum neurotoxin A works by preventing the release of a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, from the neurotransmitter junction, which does not allow the signal to travel pass through to be converted back into an electrical signal (Alberts, 2010).

Next, Botulinum neurotoxin A has another affect on another process that occurs during nerve signaling and the transportation of chemical signals that cause muscles to contract. Botox prevents or disrupts the path of a neurotransmitter from leaving the cell, which is essentially the disruption exocytosis (Botulinum toxin, 2013). By blocking the neuromuscular junction, the neurotransmitter is not allowed to leave the cell and transmit a nerve impulse to the muscle, causing it to contract (Medical Device Source, 2013) . Exocytosis is the process by which a molecule is secreted out of the cell (Alberts, 2010). In doing this, this introduces another roadblock for the neurotransmitter to continue onto its path to reach the muscle cell, which does not allow it flow continuously. Finally, from the knowledge gained, to answer the question of how Botox works is through the disruption of the neuromuscular junction and by preventing neurotransmitters from leaving the muscular junction, which avoids exocytosis. By preventing the neurotransmitter from leaving the neuromuscular junction, the signal cannot reach the muscle cell and it to contract. This would then cause the muscle to relax, causing less flow of nerve impulse to the muscle. Because of this, wrinkles become smooth again, and in the case of the journal, Botox caused a depression of recurrent inhibition in the spinal pathway (Merchand-Pauvert, V. et. al, (2012)).

The purpose to Botox is the neurotoxins natural ability to target to the neuromuscular junction naturally and how it can prevent exocytosis from occurring. Because of this key feature is why it has become wildly popular to those how can afford to have this procedure done to them. This concludes to the main question of how Botox works, which is it affinity to disrupt all nerve passages.

Alberts, B. (2010). Essential Cell Biology (3. ed.). New York, N.Y.: Garland Science

Botulinum Toxin. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from

Merchand-Pauvert, V., Aymard, C., Giboin, L., Dominici, F., Rossi, A., & Mazzocchino, R. (2012). Beyond muscular effects: depression of spinal recurrent inhibition after botulinum neurotoxin A. The Journal of Physiology, 591(4), 1017-1029.

Medical Device Source. Retrieved October 22, 2013, from

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