Estimates of activation in arterial smooth muscle

H. A. Singer, K. E. Kamm, R. A. Murphy

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18 Scopus citations


We have previously described the onset of a 'latch' state in the swine carotid media after K+ depolarization. This state was characterized by maintained stress after a decrease in shortening velocities and in the level of cross-bridge phosphorylation. The present experiments were designed to determine whether there were changes in other mechanical properties in swine carotid media associated with the onset of the latch state. Medial strips (<500 μM thick), incubated in physiological salt solution (PSS) at 37°C at their optimal length (L(o)), were subjected to ramp stretches (5.86 mm/s) of 5% L(o). The active stress (S(a)) response to stretch was computed by subtraction of the passive element contribution (as determined from identical stretches after 30 min incubation in Ca2+-free PSS) from the total response in the activated muscle. Transitions in the total and active stress responses to stretch were observed in strips stimulated with 109 mM K+ for 1 min or longer and were interpreted as yielding of the contractile apparatus. Active dynamic stiffness (dS/dL(o)) calculated from the initial 1% L(o) portion of the stretch response, correlated linearly with active stress over a wide range. Maximal stress and dynamic stiffness were reached by 1 min and were maintained for at least 30 min in K+-depolarized preparations. However, yield stress increased significantly between 1 and 10 min, and there was a large increase in the length at which yield was observed (1.09 ± 0.06 to 1.86 ± 0.10% L(o); n = 9). These increases were maintained between 10 and 30 min. The changes associated with the yield phenomenon occur concomitantly with the onset of a latch state as described above and are consistent with the hypothesis that non- or slowly cycling latch bridges accumulate during this period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C465-C473
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number3 (20/3)
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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