Smooth Muscle Activation

  • G. Pfitzer
  • J. C. Rüegg
Part of the Advances in Comparative and Environmental Physiology book series (COMPARATIVE, volume 12)


The contractile structure of vertebrate smooth muscle is extensively discussed by Squire in Chapter 4. Here, we focus on the problem of contractile activation. As in all muscle, calcium ions are essential in the regulation of contraction (for review, see Rüegg 1988). This has been known for many years ever since Filo et al. (1965) showed that the contractile force of permeabilized smooth muscle cells depends on the level of free calcium in contact with the myofilaments. In the following, we shall address first the mechanisms regulating the intracellular calcium ion concentration. Then we shall discuss the relationship between the intracellular free calcium and contractile force and the mechanisms by which calcium ions activate the contractile machinery.


Okadaic Acid Myosin Light Chain Kinase Calcium Sensitivity Intracellular Free Calcium Smooth Muscle Myosin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Pfitzer
    • 1
  • J. C. Rüegg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology IIUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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