Pharmacological modulation of the mechanical response of airway smooth muscle to length oscillation

X. Shen, M. F. Wu, R. S. Tepper, S. J. Gunst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Stretch and retraction of the airways caused by changes in lung volume may play an important role in regulating airway reactivity. We studied the effects of different pharmacological stimuli on airway smooth muscle to determine whether the muscle behavior during length oscillation can be modulated pharmacologically and to evaluate the role of different activation mechanisms in determining its behavior during the oscillation. Active force decreased below the static isometric force during the shortening phase of length oscillation, resulting in an overall depression of force during the length oscillation cycle. This pattern of response was unaffected by the contractile stimulus or level of activation, suggesting that it was caused by a mechanism that is independent of the level of activation of cross bridges. The normalized area of the length-force hysteresis loop (hysteresivity) differed depending on the stimulus used for contraction. Effects of different stimuli on hysteresivity were not correlated with their effects on isotonic shortening velocity or isometric force, suggesting that the pharmacological modulation of the behavior of airway smooth muscle during length oscillation at these amplitudes cannot be accounted for by the effects on the cross- bridge cycling rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)739-745
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997


  • Airway reactivity
  • Contractile mechanisms
  • Tidal breathing
  • Tracheal smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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