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Physiol Rev. 1976 Oct;56(4):829-38.

Aspects of smooth muscle function in molluscan catch muscle.


1) Catch in Mytilus ABRM may be a specialization of a mechanism common to all muscles that gives rise to stretch resistance in the resting state. Catch appears to be due to actin myosin interaction. Since this interaction is regulated by nerves, it provides a convenient model for studying resting stretch resistance. 2) Studies of the structure of Mytilus ABRM revela two types of intercellular connections: a) direct connections between muscle fibers [these nexal (gap) junctions interconnect the muscle cells electrically]; b) muscle fiber-collagen-muscle fiber connections [these provide mechanical connections between muscle cells via collagen fibers]. The structure of Mytilus ABRM supports speculation that smooth muscle filaments are organized into contractile units. 3) A rise in cAMP levels occurs in response to the relaxing transmitter, serotonin. It is not certain whether the cAMP system directly controls the ability of the contractile proteins to interact or whether it regulates intracellular levels of Ca2+. 4) Calcium ions in activation are derived from two sources: an internal source, probably the sarcoplasmic reticulum, and an external source, across the muscle membrane. 5) The nature of catch remains in question, although most evidence favors the linkage hypothesis.

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