Cellular myosin, actin, and tropomyosin contents and ratios were determined for arterial (carotid, aorta, and coronary), intestinal (circular and longitudinal), esophageal, uterine, and tracheal smooth muscles inthe pig. Tissue protein contents were estimated by densitometry of polyacrylamide gels after electrophoresis of sodium dodecyl sulfate-treated tissue homogenates. Cellular contractile protein contents were estimated by correction for extracellular spaces. Cellular myosin contents were similar in each tissue (average +/- 1 SEM = 19.6 +/- 0.8 mg/g cell wet wt). However, the cellular contents of the thin filament proteins, actin and tropomyosin, were significantly higher in the arteries than in the nonarterial tissues. The calculated weight ratios of actin: myosin averaged 2.6 +/- 0.2 in the three arterial tissues and 1.5 +/- 0.1 in the nonarterial tissues, which may be compared with 0.36 in vertebrate striated muscles. The actin:tropomyosin weight ratios for all tissues were 3.7 +/- 0.1, a value comparable to the skeletal muscle ratio. The physiological implications of variations in the cellular thin filament protein contents are unknown, but these variations probably contribute to the observed differences in contractile function among various smooth muscles.

This content is only available as a PDF.