Calcium in Smooth Muscle Function

  • Leon Hurwitz
  • Linda J. McGuffee


In smooth muscle (Prosser, 1974; Hurwitz and Suria, 1971; Somlyo and Somlyo, 1968), as in other types of muscle (Fuchs, 1974; Langer, 1968; Sandow, 1965), calcium is considered to be the agent that activates the contractile apparatus. Consequently, the cellular structures and reactions which act to regulate the concentration of Ca2+ available to the contractile proteins play a vital role in the contraction-relaxation cycle in smooth muscle cells. In the discussion which follows, major emphasis will be placed on those aspects of smooth muscle function which control the movements of Ca2+ in the cell. The first part of this chapter will be devoted to a brief overview of the excitation-contraction coupling mechanism which is assumed to operate during a drug or neurohormone-induced contractile response. The remainder of the chapter will deal more specifically with some of the characteristics of the transport system that facilitates the entry of Ca2+ into the cytoplasmic matrix and with the interaction between this system and other cellular processes associated with contraction in the smooth muscle cell.


Smooth Muscle Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Contractile Response Longitudinal Muscle Contractile Protein 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leon Hurwitz
    • 1
  • Linda J. McGuffee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology School of MedicineUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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