Effects of Ca2+ on force-velocity characteristics of normal and hypertrophic smooth muscle of the rat portal vein

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Portal hypertension was induced in rats by partial ligation of the hepatic branches of the portal vein. After 5 days of hypertension the portal veins were taken out and mounted for isometric and quick-release experiments. Portal veins from sham-operated normal rats served as controls. The ligated veins had an increased cross-sectional area, indicating smooth-muscle hypertrophy. Although the absolute magnitude of active force of these veins was increased, the active force per cross-sectional area was decreased, indicating an alteration in the properties of the contractile system. No difference in the Ca2+ concentration-response relations to K+-activated intact control and hypertrophic veins was found. In chemically skinned preparations, devoid of functional plasma membranes, the hypertrophic veins had similar Ca2+ sensitivity (in the presence of I microM calmodulin) but a lower force per cross-sectional area. Force-velocity relations were determined in K+-activated intact preparations. In control veins a reduction in extracellular Ca2+ was associated with a significant reduction in both isometric force and maximal shortening velocity (Vmax). In hypertrophic veins the decreased isometric force at maximal activation was associated with a low Vmax. A comparison between hypertrophic and submaximally stimulated control vessels showed corresponding Vmax and isometric force values. We conclude that the low isometric force of hypertrophic veins is associated with a lower rate of cross-bridge turnover. This could be an effect of alterations in the activation mechanisms or in the intrinsic properties of the contractile system itself.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Urology and Nephrology
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Medicinal Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-533
JournalActa Physiologica Scandinavica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1985
Publication categoryResearch