Initiation of smooth muscle response

A. M. Shaw and J. C. McGrath

in The Pharmacology of Vascular Smooth Muscle

Published in print February 1996 | ISBN: 9780192623874
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191724671 | DOI:
Initiation of smooth muscle response

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The tension of vascular smooth muscle is regulated by numerous exogenous chemical agents whose concentrations change in response to physiological and pathophysiological events in order to modulate blood flow. For experimental purposes the responses of vascular smooth muscle may be conveniently divided into stimulatory or inhibitory. In vivo, the degree of background tension of the smooth muscle is largely due to the interaction between those exogenous agonists promoting constriction and those agonists promoting relaxation. The sequence of events is by which most stimulatory or inhibitory agonists regulate smooth muscle activity. These events are often referred to as pharmacomechanical coupling and are defined as those mechanisms that evoke smooth muscle responses that are independent of changes in the electrical potential of the plasma membrane. Pharmacomechanical responses are achieved by agonist-induced changes in the intracellular concentration of second messenger molecules.

Keywords: pathophysiological events; exogenous agonists; inhibitory agonists; pharmacomechanical coupling; smooth muscle; second messenger molecules

Chapter.  14332 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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