PMID: 9315362Jul 1, 1997

Heterogeneity of airway smooth muscle at tissue and cellular levels

Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
X MaN L Stephens

Abstract

Heterogeneity of smooth muscle behavior is rapidly emerging as an important phenomenon. However, it is only recently that investigators have begun to explore its physiological and pathogenic importance. Stenmark's group recently reported the existence of four subpopulations of smooth muscle cells in pulmonary artery, and noted that only a specific group of cells was likely responsible for the hyperplasia of smooth muscle in the hypertensive artery. Our studies reported here were focused on determining whether heterogeneity of contractile properties existed in airway smooth muscle cells. Firstly, mechanical properties of muscle strips, free of cartilage and epithelium, were compared among the different generations of canine airway from trachea down to bronchial generation 6. Two distinct groups of smooth muscle were detected from these airways: (i) an extrapulmonary group, consisting of muscle strips from the trachea, and bronchial generation 1 and 2, characterized by higher maximum shortening capacity (delta Lmax) and zero-load velocity (V0) of shortening; (ii) an intrapulmonary group, containing bronchi from generation 3 to 6, with lower delta Lmax and V0. This led to the implication that smooth muscles from these two groups c...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Arterial System
Bronchial System
Pathogenic Organism
Muscle Cells
Myocytes, Smooth Muscle
Trachea and Bronchus
Trachea
Smooth Muscle
Epithelium
Bronchi

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