Tension Transients in Single Isolated Smooth Muscle Cells

  • David M. Warshaw
  • Fredric S. Fay
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 37)


Tension transients have been recorded for the first time in a single smooth muscle cell. The transient contains a linear elastic response and a biphasic recovery which appear to originate from the cross-bridges. A comparison of transients in smooth and fast skeletal muscle fibers suggests that the cross-bridge in smooth muscle is more compliant than in striated muscle and that transitions between several cross-bridge states occur more slowly.


Length Step Elastic Response Length Dependence Contractile Mechanism Fast Skeletal Muscle 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ashton, F.T., Sornlyo, A.V. and Somlyo, A.P. (1975). The contractile apparatus of vascular smooth muscle: intermediate high voltage stereo electron microscopy. J. Mol. Biol. 98: 17–29.Google Scholar
  2. Fay, F.S. (1976). Mechanical properties of single isolated smooth muscle cells. I.N.S.E.R.M. Symposium 50: 327–342.Google Scholar
  3. Fay, F.S., Rees, D.D. and Warshaw, D.M. (1981). The contractile mechanism in smooth muscle. In: Membrane Structure and Function, Vol. 4, pp. 79–130, ed. Bittar, E.E., New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  4. Fay, F.S., Hoffman, R, Leclair, S. and Merriam (1982). Preparation of individual smooth muscle cells from the stomach of Bufe marinus. In: Methods in Enzymology, Vol. 85, pp. 284–292, ed. Cunningham, L.W. and Frederiksen, D.W. New York: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  5. Fay, F.S., Fogarty, K., Fujiwara, K. and Tuft, R. (1982). Contractile mechanism of single isolated smooth muscle cells. In: Basic Biology of Muscles, pp. 143–157, ed. Dewey, M., Levine, R. and Twarog, B. New York: Raven Press.Google Scholar
  6. Ford, L.E., Huxley, A.F. and Simmons, R.M. (1977). Tension responses to sudden length change in stimulated frog muscle fibers near slack length. J. Physiol. 269: 441–515.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Heinl, P., Kuhn, H.J. and Ruegg, J.C. (1974). Tension responses to quick length changes of gly-cerinated skeletal fibers from the frog and tortoise. J. Physiol. 237: 243–258.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Marston, S.B. and Taylor, E.W. (1980). Comparison of the myosin and actomyosin ATPase mechanisms of the four types of vertebrate muscles. J. Mol. Biol. 139: 573–600.Google Scholar
  9. Page, S.G. (1968). Fine structure of tortoise skeletal muscle. J. Physiol. 197: 709–715.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Paul, R.J., Glück, E. and Rüegg, J.C. (1976). Cross-bridge ATP utilization in arterial smooth muscle. Pfluegers Arch. 381: 297–299.Google Scholar
  11. Siegman, M.J., Butler, T.M., Mooers, S.V. and Davies, R.E. (1980). Chemical energetics of force development, force maintenance, and relaxation in mammalian smooth muscle. J. Gen. Physiol. 76: 609–629.Google Scholar
  12. Woledge, R.C. (1968). The energetics of tortoise muscle. J. Physiol. 197: 685–707.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Warshaw
    • 1
  • Fredric S. Fay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

Personalised recommendations