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By Poul-Erik Paulev

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Extra info for Textbook in medical physiology and pathophysiology : essentials and clinical problems

Example text

Stimulation of the unloaded muscle results in maximum shortening velocity (100%). An unloaded crossbridge can cycle at maximal rate, indicated by maximal shortening velocity (Fig. 2-8 right). The shortening velocity decreases rapidly as the afterload is increased describing a hyperbola (Fig. 2-8 right). With increasing loads the latency is increased and the shortening is reduced (4 and 9 g in Fig. 2-8 left). The latency depends on the length of thepreceding isometric phase. The maximal velocity of shortening is directly proportional to the myosin ATPase activity.

The slowly adapting C-polymodal nociceptors (group IV) are unmyelinated afferent fibres that originate in the deeper cutaneous tissue, and respond to various mechanical, thermal and chemical stimuli (Fig. 3-5). In the spinal cord nociceptive afferents synapse with secondary neurons in lamina I and II. These sensory neurons ascent in the spinothalamic tracts. The fast adapting pain through group III fibres is bearable (acute, sharp, stinging, somatic pain), compared to the slowly adapting unbearable pain (diffuse, burning, prolonged secondary, visceral pain) through group IV fibres.

This is probably because the ATP-synthesising glycolytic mechanism is located in the cell membrane and is linked to the ATP-utilising Na+ -K+ -pump. Smooth muscle contains far fewer myosin filaments than striated muscle. The myosin crossbridge heads of smooth muscle contain an isoenzyme with much less ATPase activity than that of striated muscle. Ca2+-entry through the cell membrane is much slower than internal release of Ca2+. A contracting smooth muscle fibre releases Ca2+ from two pools. The large extracellular fluid pool is essential.

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