The time course of [Ca2+]i, tension, and myosin light chain phosphorylation were determined during prolonged depolarization with high K+ in intact tonic (rabbit pulmonary artery) and phasic (longitudinal layer of guinea pig ileum) smooth muscles. [Ca2+]i was monitored with the 340 nm/380 nm signal ratio of the fluorescent indicator fura-2. The fluorescence ratio had a similar time course in both muscle types during depolarization with 109 mM [K+]o; after a transient peak, there was a decline to 70% of its peak value in tonic smooth muscle, and to 60% in phasic smooth muscle. Tension, however, continued to increase in the pulmonary artery, while in the ileum it declined in parallel with the [Ca2+]i. On changing [K+]o from 109 to 20 mM, tension and [Ca2+]i either remained unchanged or declined in parallel in the pulmonary artery. Phosphorylation of the 20-kD myosin light chain, measured during stimulation of muscle strips with 109 mM [K+]o in another set of experiments, increased from 3% to a peak of 50% in the intact pulmonary artery, and then declined to a steady state value of 23%. In the intact ileum, a very rapid, early transient phosphorylation (up to 50%) at 2-3 s was seen. This transient declined by 30 s to a value that was close to the resting level (7%), while tension remained at 55% of its peak force. A quick release during maintained stimulation induced no detectable change in the [Ca2+]i in either type of smooth muscle. We discuss the possibility that the slowly rising tonic tension in pulmonary artery could be due to cooperativity between phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated crossbridges.
Cytoplasmic free calcium, myosin light chain phosphorylation, and force in phasic and tonic smooth muscle.
B Himpens, G Matthijs, A V Somlyo, T M Butler, A P Somlyo; Cytoplasmic free calcium, myosin light chain phosphorylation, and force in phasic and tonic smooth muscle.. J Gen Physiol 1 December 1988; 92 (6): 713–729. doi: https://doi.org/10.1085/jgp.92.6.713
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