Responses of smooth muscle to quick load change studied at high time resolution

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Quick-release and quick-stretch experiments have been performed on preparations of smooth muscle from rat portal vein and rabbit urinary bladder. The low equivalent mass of the isotonic lever (8 mg) implied that inertial oscillations were limited to the first 5-10 msec after the load step. The high time resolution achieved in this way enabled us to separate three components in the length response to a step change in force: (1) an immediate passive elastic recoil, (2) an isotonic velocity transient lasting 50-75 msec and (3) shortening of the contractile element after its full adjustment to the new load. The maximal series elastic recoil was about 10% of the total muscle length in portal vein but only some 3% in urinary bladder. Stiffness of series elasticity increased in proportion to force and was about 3 times higher in bladder than in portal vein at any force level. Force-velocity relations for loads less than Po could be fitted to Hill's equation; Vmax in 4 AC-stimulated portal veins was 0.53 +/- 0.03 muscle lengths/sec and in 8 K+-activated bladder preparations 0.18 +/- 0.01 muscle lengths/sec. Application of loads greater than Po produced rates of lengthening greater than expected from an extrapolation of Hill's hyperbola. The nature of the transient component is discussed in the light of recent studies of force and velocity transients in skeletal muscle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-82
JournalBlood Vessels
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1978

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Urology and Nephrology
  • Physiology


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