Two sets of myofilaments were demonstrated after incubation of strips of rabbit portal-anterior mesenteric vein under moderate stretch in a physiological salt solution. Thick filaments had a mean diameter of 18 nm and reached a maximum length of 1.4 µm with a mean length of 0.61 µm. In transverse sections, 2.5–5 nm particles were resolved as subunits of the thick filaments. Thin filaments had an average diameter of 8.4 nm and generally conformed to the structure believed to represent actin filaments in smooth and striated muscles. In the areas of maximum concentration there were 160–328 thick filaments/µm2 and the lowest ratio of thin to thick filaments was 12:1. Thick filaments were present in approximately equal numbers in vascular smooth muscle relaxed by theophylline, in Ca++-free solution, or contracted by norepinephrine. The same preparatory procedures used with vascular smooth muscle also enabled us to visualize thick filaments in guinea pig and rabbit taenia coli and vas deferens.

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