Crossbridge attachment, resistance to stretch, and viscoelasticity in resting mammalian smooth muscle

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Science  30 Jan 1976:
Vol. 191, Issue 4225, pp. 383-385
DOI: 10.1126/science.128819


There exist a calcium-dependent resistance to stretch in resting mammalian smooth muscle that is not caused by depolarization of the cell membrane or release of calcium from intracellulr sites. The similarity of the resistance to stretch in the resting state to that in rigor suggests that most, if not all, crossbridges are attached and thus able to resist stretch in noncontracting smooth muscles. When the muscle is stretched the breaking and subsequent reformation of links in nonstrained positions accounts for most of the so-called viscoelasticity, except at extreme lengths.