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Experiments and mechanochemical modeling of smooth muscle contraction: significance of filament overlap. (English) Zbl 1336.92034
Summary: The main function of smooth muscle is to maintain/regulate the size of different hollow organs through contraction and relaxation. The magnitude of the active force during contraction is dependent on the number of attached cross-bridges, which can be linked to the overlap between the thin and thick filaments. The relevance of filament overlap and the active cross-bridges in smooth muscle is investigated through a mechanical model founded on Hill’s three-element model. The mechanical model describes a sarcomere-equivalent contractile unit supported by structural observations with a distinct filament overlap and a realistic framework for the filament sliding behavior based on force-velocity experiments. The mechanical model is coupled to the four-state latch-model by C.M. Hai and R.A. Murphy [“Cross-bridge phosphorylation and regulation of latch state in smooth muscle”, Am. J. Physiol. 254, No. 1, C99–C106 (1988)] to capture the electromechanical activation from intracellular calcium concentration to load-bearing cross-bridges. The model is fitted to isometric experiments performed on the pig carotid media and on isotonic quick-release experiments found in the literature. The proposed coupled mechanochemical model with the description of the filament overlap, which has a significant influence on the results, is able to predict isometric experimental data performed at different muscle lengths. The relevance of the filament overlap and the load-bearing cross-bridges is investigated through the model by simulating additional scenarios that has been documented in the literature.

92C45 Kinetics in biochemical problems (pharmacokinetics, enzyme kinetics, etc.)
92C10 Biomechanics
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