Smooth Muscles: Structure Function

by Thad Wilson, PhD

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    You can see smooth muscle is named because it’s non-striated appearance. Striations will be lines that occur. And when we went through the skeletal muscle, you noticed that there were varying components that you can see individual lines in the muscle itself. Why this occurs is because there are a number of different processes. Smooth muscle has a larger degree in which it can shorten. So a smooth muscle can shorten to a greater degree than skeletal muscle. They also have a large number of intermediate filaments that help maintain its structural integrity. They have thick filaments and thin filaments just like skeletal muscle. They also have these dense bodies and these dense bodies help maintain that structural relationship of thick and thin filaments. The other thing that’s different is they are mechanically coupled at least in the single unit or phasic smooth muscle via gap junctions. It can be seen here. Now, let’s talk through the various ways in which smooth muscle develop force as which there are a number. The first we’ll talk through is in this type of graph where we have force on the Y-axis and time on the X-axis. This is one type of force production in which force production is high almost all the time until you see a relaxation and then it returns back to a high amount of force. The good example for this are sphincters in which they are normally contracted and then relaxed for a very short period of time and contract again. Other types of smooth muscle work almost in the opposite way in which they are normally relaxed and then they have bursts of activity and then they go back to a relaxed state again. A good example of that is urinary bladder tissue in which it’s relaxed...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Smooth Muscles: Structure Function by Thad Wilson, PhD is from the course Musculoskeletal Physiology.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Sarcoplasmic reticulum
    2. Plasma membrane
    3. Caveolus
    4. Peroxisome

    Author of lecture Smooth Muscles: Structure Function

     Thad Wilson, PhD

    Thad Wilson, PhD

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