The effects of rapid cooling on the mechanical and electrical activities of the guinea pig taenia coli and circular muscle of the stomach were investigated. Lowering the temperature from 32° to 10°C (cold shock) depolarized the membrane and increased the membrane resistance in both tissues. However, in the taenia coli, an initial reduction of membrane resistance was observed. In both tissues, contracture evoked by cold shock and rapid relaxation after rewarming, preceded the changes of membrane properties. Displacements of the membrane potential did not modify the amplitude of contracture under cold shock. Caffeine and thymol modified the membrane properties, but the effects of cold shock were still observed. The effects of cold shock were also observed on K-induced contracture. It was postulated that at least two different sites of sequestered bound Ca are located in these smooth muscles and are responsible for evoking the mechanical response. One component possesses a close relation to membrane and the other component is presumably sequestered within the muscle.

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