Structures with the characteristics of molecular myosin were identified by electron microscopy in tissue sections of vertebrate smooth muscle. No thick filaments of myosin were found regardless of preparative procedures, which included fixation at rest and in contraction, glycerine extraction, and storage at low pH prior to fixation. Absence of thick myosin filaments and presence of what appear to be myosin molecules is in accord with conclusions based on X-ray diffraction (3, 12) and birefringence data (4) from living smooth muscles at rest and in contraction. Explanations are provided for appearances thought by others (6, 20, 21) to represent thick myosin filaments. Our present observations are in accord with the model for smooth muscle contraction which we have previously proposed (1).

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