Soon after the development of the plasma clot technique for growing cells in culture (Carrel and Burrows, 1910) there were reports of the behaviour of smooth muscle in tissue cultures. Champy (1913/14) noted that smooth muscle cells from explants of rabbit arteries and veins could divide in culture, although the cells subsequently lost their characteristic morphological features to become ‘dedifferentiated’. Laqueur (1914) and Lewis and Lewis (1917a) found that smooth muscle cells could contract spontaneously in culture. The Lewises observed that the cell cytoplasm appeared to be responsible for the movement, with the nucleus being passive. The spontaneous activity of the cells lasted for only a few days in culture. However, quiescent cells could be stimulated to contract by addition of more Ca2+ to the medium or by gentle prodding with a fine needle (Lewis and Lewis, 1917a).


Smooth Muscle Smooth Muscle Cell Input Resistance Continuous Cell Line Solitary Cell 
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Copyright information

© Alan L. Harvey 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan L. Harvey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK

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