Muscle, Smooth: Unstriated and unstriped muscle, one of the muscles of the internal organs, blood vessels, hair follicles, etc. Contractile elements are elongated, usually spindle-shaped cells with centrally located nuclei. Smooth muscle fibers are bound together into sheets or bundles by reticular fibers and frequently elastic nets are also abundant. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Muscle, Smooth, Vascular: The nonstriated involuntary muscle tissue of blood vessels.Myocytes, Smooth Muscle: Non-striated, elongated, spindle-shaped cells found lining the digestive tract, uterus, and blood vessels. They are derived from specialized myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, SMOOTH MUSCLE).Myocytes, Cardiac: Striated muscle cells found in the heart. They are derived from cardiac myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, CARDIAC).Muscles: Contractile tissue that produces movement in animals.Muscle Contraction: A process leading to shortening and/or development of tension in muscle tissue. Muscle contraction occurs by a sliding filament mechanism whereby actin filaments slide inward among the myosin filaments.Muscle Proteins: The protein constituents of muscle, the major ones being ACTINS and MYOSINS. More than a dozen accessory proteins exist including TROPONIN; TROPOMYOSIN; and DYSTROPHIN.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Muscle, Skeletal: A subtype of striated muscle, attached by TENDONS to the SKELETON. Skeletal muscles are innervated and their movement can be consciously controlled. They are also called voluntary muscles.Muscle Fibers, Skeletal: Large, multinucleate single cells, either cylindrical or prismatic in shape, that form the basic unit of SKELETAL MUSCLE. They consist of MYOFIBRILS enclosed within and attached to the SARCOLEMMA. They are derived from the fusion of skeletal myoblasts (MYOBLASTS, SKELETAL) into a syncytium, followed by differentiation.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Muscle Development: Developmental events leading to the formation of adult muscular system, which includes differentiation of the various types of muscle cell precursors, migration of myoblasts, activation of myogenesis and development of muscle anchorage.Myocardium: The muscle tissue of the HEART. It is composed of striated, involuntary muscle cells (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC) connected to form the contractile pump to generate blood flow.Aorta: The main trunk of the systemic arteries.Muscle Cells: Mature contractile cells, commonly known as myocytes, that form one of three kinds of muscle. The three types of muscle cells are skeletal (MUSCLE FIBERS, SKELETAL), cardiac (MYOCYTES, CARDIAC), and smooth (MYOCYTES, SMOOTH MUSCLE). They are derived from embryonic (precursor) muscle cells called MYOBLASTS.Guinea Pigs: A common name used for the genus Cavia. The most common species is Cavia porcellus which is the domesticated guinea pig used for pets and biomedical research.Rabbits: The species Oryctolagus cuniculus, in the family Leporidae, order LAGOMORPHA. Rabbits are born in burrows, furless, and with eyes and ears closed. In contrast with HARES, rabbits have 22 chromosome pairs.Trachea: The cartilaginous and membranous tube descending from the larynx and branching into the right and left main bronchi.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Muscle Relaxation: That phase of a muscle twitch during which a muscle returns to a resting position.Heart Ventricles: The lower right and left chambers of the heart. The right ventricle pumps venous BLOOD into the LUNGS and the left ventricle pumps oxygenated blood into the systemic arterial circulation.Smooth Muscle Myosins: Myosin type II isoforms found in smooth muscle.Membrane Potentials: The voltage differences across a membrane. For cellular membranes they are computed by subtracting the voltage measured outside the membrane from the voltage measured inside the membrane. They result from differences of inside versus outside concentration of potassium, sodium, chloride, and other ions across cells' or ORGANELLES membranes. For excitable cells, the resting membrane potentials range between -30 and -100 millivolts. Physical, chemical, or electrical stimuli can make a membrane potential more negative (hyperpolarization), or less negative (depolarization).Actins: Filamentous proteins that are the main constituent of the thin filaments of muscle fibers. The filaments (known also as filamentous or F-actin) can be dissociated into their globular subunits; each subunit is composed of a single polypeptide 375 amino acids long. This is known as globular or G-actin. In conjunction with MYOSINS, actin is responsible for the contraction and relaxation of muscle.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch: Skeletal muscle fibers characterized by their expression of the Type II MYOSIN HEAVY CHAIN isoforms which have high ATPase activity and effect several other functional properties - shortening velocity, power output, rate of tension redevelopment. Several fast types have been identified.Muscle Denervation: The resection or removal of the innervation of a muscle or muscle tissue.Muscle Fatigue: A state arrived at through prolonged and strong contraction of a muscle. Studies in athletes during prolonged submaximal exercise have shown that muscle fatigue increases in almost direct proportion to the rate of muscle glycogen depletion. Muscle fatigue in short-term maximal exercise is associated with oxygen lack and an increased level of blood and muscle lactic acid, and an accompanying increase in hydrogen-ion concentration in the exercised muscle.Mitochondria, Muscle: Mitochondria of skeletal and smooth muscle. It does not include myocardial mitochondria for which MITOCHONDRIA, HEART is available.Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch: Skeletal muscle fibers characterized by their expression of the Type I MYOSIN HEAVY CHAIN isoforms which have low ATPase activity and effect several other functional properties - shortening velocity, power output, rate of tension redevelopment.Heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Aorta, Thoracic: The portion of the descending aorta proceeding from the arch of the aorta and extending to the DIAPHRAGM, eventually connecting to the ABDOMINAL AORTA.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Isometric Contraction: Muscular contractions characterized by increase in tension without change in length.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Myocardial Contraction: Contractile activity of the MYOCARDIUM.Calcium Signaling: Signal transduction mechanisms whereby calcium mobilization (from outside the cell or from intracellular storage pools) to the cytoplasm is triggered by external stimuli. Calcium signals are often seen to propagate as waves, oscillations, spikes, sparks, or puffs. The calcium acts as an intracellular messenger by activating calcium-responsive proteins.Patch-Clamp Techniques: An electrophysiologic technique for studying cells, cell membranes, and occasionally isolated organelles. All patch-clamp methods rely on a very high-resistance seal between a micropipette and a membrane; the seal is usually attained by gentle suction. The four most common variants include on-cell patch, inside-out patch, outside-out patch, and whole-cell clamp. Patch-clamp methods are commonly used to voltage clamp, that is control the voltage across the membrane and measure current flow, but current-clamp methods, in which the current is controlled and the voltage is measured, are also used.Sarcoplasmic Reticulum: A network of tubules and sacs in the cytoplasm of SKELETAL MUSCLE FIBERS that assist with muscle contraction and relaxation by releasing and storing calcium ions.Phosphorylation: The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety.Enzyme Inhibitors: Compounds or agents that combine with an enzyme in such a manner as to prevent the normal substrate-enzyme combination and the catalytic reaction.Muscle, Striated: One of two types of muscle in the body, characterized by the array of bands observed under microscope. Striated muscles can be divided into two subtypes: the CARDIAC MUSCLE and the SKELETAL MUSCLE.Papillary Muscles: Conical muscular projections from the walls of the cardiac ventricles, attached to the cusps of the atrioventricular valves by the chordae tendineae.Potassium Channels: Cell membrane glycoproteins that are selectively permeable to potassium ions. At least eight major groups of K channels exist and they are made up of dozens of different subunits.Oculomotor Muscles: The muscles that move the eye. Included in this group are the medial rectus, lateral rectus, superior rectus, inferior rectus, inferior oblique, superior oblique, musculus orbitalis, and levator palpebrae superioris.Arteries: The vessels carrying blood away from the heart.Platelet-Derived Growth Factor: Mitogenic peptide growth hormone carried in the alpha-granules of platelets. It is released when platelets adhere to traumatized tissues. Connective tissue cells near the traumatized region respond by initiating the process of replication.Electric Stimulation: Use of electric potential or currents to elicit biological responses.Myosin Heavy Chains: The larger subunits of MYOSINS. The heavy chains have a molecular weight of about 230 kDa and each heavy chain is usually associated with a dissimilar pair of MYOSIN LIGHT CHAINS. The heavy chains possess actin-binding and ATPase activity.Caffeine: A methylxanthine naturally occurring in some beverages and also used as a pharmacological agent. Caffeine's most notable pharmacological effect is as a central nervous system stimulant, increasing alertness and producing agitation. It also relaxes SMOOTH MUSCLE, stimulates CARDIAC MUSCLE, stimulates DIURESIS, and appears to be useful in the treatment of some types of headache. Several cellular actions of caffeine have been observed, but it is not entirely clear how each contributes to its pharmacological profile. Among the most important are inhibition of cyclic nucleotide PHOSPHODIESTERASES, antagonism of ADENOSINE RECEPTORS, and modulation of intracellular calcium handling.Pulmonary Artery: The short wide vessel arising from the conus arteriosus of the right ventricle and conveying unaerated blood to the lungs.Neck Muscles: The neck muscles consist of the platysma, splenius cervicis, sternocleidomastoid(eus), longus colli, the anterior, medius, and posterior scalenes, digastric(us), stylohyoid(eus), mylohyoid(eus), geniohyoid(eus), sternohyoid(eus), omohyoid(eus), sternothyroid(eus), and thyrohyoid(eus).Calcium Channels, L-Type: Long-lasting voltage-gated CALCIUM CHANNELS found in both excitable and nonexcitable tissue. They are responsible for normal myocardial and vascular smooth muscle contractility. Five subunits (alpha-1, alpha-2, beta, gamma, and delta) make up the L-type channel. The alpha-1 subunit is the binding site for calcium-based antagonists. Dihydropyridine-based calcium antagonists are used as markers for these binding sites.Isoproterenol: Isopropyl analog of EPINEPHRINE; beta-sympathomimetic that acts on the heart, bronchi, skeletal muscle, alimentary tract, etc. It is used mainly as bronchodilator and heart stimulant.Cell Division: The fission of a CELL. It includes CYTOKINESIS, when the CYTOPLASM of a cell is divided, and CELL NUCLEUS DIVISION.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Vasoconstriction: The physiological narrowing of BLOOD VESSELS by contraction of the VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE.Acetylcholine: A neurotransmitter found at neuromuscular junctions, autonomic ganglia, parasympathetic effector junctions, a subset of sympathetic effector junctions, and at many sites in the central nervous system.Muscle Spindles: Skeletal muscle structures that function as the MECHANORECEPTORS responsible for the stretch or myotactic reflex (REFLEX, STRETCH). They are composed of a bundle of encapsulated SKELETAL MUSCLE FIBERS, i.e., the intrafusal fibers (nuclear bag 1 fibers, nuclear bag 2 fibers, and nuclear chain fibers) innervated by SENSORY NEURONS.Respiratory Muscles: These include the muscles of the DIAPHRAGM and the INTERCOSTAL MUSCLES.Dogs: The domestic dog, Canis familiaris, comprising about 400 breeds, of the carnivore family CANIDAE. They are worldwide in distribution and live in association with people. (Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1065)Calcium Channels: Voltage-dependent cell membrane glycoproteins selectively permeable to calcium ions. They are categorized as L-, T-, N-, P-, Q-, and R-types based on the activation and inactivation kinetics, ion specificity, and sensitivity to drugs and toxins. The L- and T-types are present throughout the cardiovascular and central nervous systems and the N-, P-, Q-, & R-types are located in neuronal tissue.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Action Potentials: Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.Endothelium, Vascular: Single pavement layer of cells which line the luminal surface of the entire vascular system and regulate the transport of macromolecules and blood components.GizzardElectrophysiology: The study of the generation and behavior of electrical charges in living organisms particularly the nervous system and the effects of electricity on living organisms.Potassium: An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol K, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39.10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE.Carbachol: A slowly hydrolyzed CHOLINERGIC AGONIST that acts at both MUSCARINIC RECEPTORS and NICOTINIC RECEPTORS.Hypertrophy: General increase in bulk of a part or organ due to CELL ENLARGEMENT and accumulation of FLUIDS AND SECRETIONS, not due to tumor formation, nor to an increase in the number of cells (HYPERPLASIA).Muscle Weakness: A vague complaint of debility, fatigue, or exhaustion attributable to weakness of various muscles. The weakness can be characterized as subacute or chronic, often progressive, and is a manifestation of many muscle and neuromuscular diseases. (From Wyngaarden et al., Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p2251)Urinary Bladder: A musculomembranous sac along the URINARY TRACT. URINE flows from the KIDNEYS into the bladder via the ureters (URETER), and is held there until URINATION.Angiotensin II: An octapeptide that is a potent but labile vasoconstrictor. It is produced from angiotensin I after the removal of two amino acids at the C-terminal by ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME. The amino acid in position 5 varies in different species. To block VASOCONSTRICTION and HYPERTENSION effect of angiotensin II, patients are often treated with ACE INHIBITORS or with ANGIOTENSIN II TYPE 1 RECEPTOR BLOCKERS.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Potassium Chloride: A white crystal or crystalline powder used in BUFFERS; FERTILIZERS; and EXPLOSIVES. It can be used to replenish ELECTROLYTES and restore WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE in treating HYPOKALEMIA.Sarcolemma: The excitable plasma membrane of a muscle cell. (Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990)Bronchi: The larger air passages of the lungs arising from the terminal bifurcation of the TRACHEA. They include the largest two primary bronchi which branch out into secondary bronchi, and tertiary bronchi which extend into BRONCHIOLES and PULMONARY ALVEOLI.Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase: An enzyme that phosphorylates myosin light chains in the presence of ATP to yield myosin-light chain phosphate and ADP, and requires calcium and CALMODULIN. The 20-kDa light chain is phosphorylated more rapidly than any other acceptor, but light chains from other myosins and myosin itself can act as acceptors. The enzyme plays a central role in the regulation of smooth muscle contraction.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Myosins: A diverse superfamily of proteins that function as translocating proteins. They share the common characteristics of being able to bind ACTINS and hydrolyze MgATP. Myosins generally consist of heavy chains which are involved in locomotion, and light chains which are involved in regulation. Within the structure of myosin heavy chain are three domains: the head, the neck and the tail. The head region of the heavy chain contains the actin binding domain and MgATPase domain which provides energy for locomotion. The neck region is involved in binding the light-chains. The tail region provides the anchoring point that maintains the position of the heavy chain. The superfamily of myosins is organized into structural classes based upon the type and arrangement of the subunits they contain.Sodium-Calcium Exchanger: An electrogenic ion exchange protein that maintains a steady level of calcium by removing an amount of calcium equal to that which enters the cells. It is widely distributed in most excitable membranes, including the brain and heart.Myofibrils: The long cylindrical contractile organelles of STRIATED MUSCLE cells composed of ACTIN FILAMENTS; MYOSIN filaments; and other proteins organized in arrays of repeating units called SARCOMERES .Nitric Oxide: A free radical gas produced endogenously by a variety of mammalian cells, synthesized from ARGININE by NITRIC OXIDE SYNTHASE. Nitric oxide is one of the ENDOTHELIUM-DEPENDENT RELAXING FACTORS released by the vascular endothelium and mediates VASODILATION. It also inhibits platelet aggregation, induces disaggregation of aggregated platelets, and inhibits platelet adhesion to the vascular endothelium. Nitric oxide activates cytosolic GUANYLATE CYCLASE and thus elevates intracellular levels of CYCLIC GMP.Mesenteric Arteries: Arteries which arise from the abdominal aorta and distribute to most of the intestines.Ventricular Function: The hemodynamic and electrophysiological action of the HEART VENTRICLES.Coronary Vessels: The veins and arteries of the HEART.Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis: Cellular DNA-binding proteins encoded by the sis gene (GENES, SIS). c-sis proteins make up the B chain of PLATELET-DERIVED GROWTH FACTOR. Overexpression of c-sis causes tumorigenesis.Abdominal Muscles: Muscles forming the ABDOMINAL WALL including RECTUS ABDOMINIS, external and internal oblique muscles, transversus abdominis, and quadratus abdominis. (from Stedman, 25th ed)Desmin: An intermediate filament protein found predominantly in smooth, skeletal, and cardiac muscle cells. Localized at the Z line. MW 50,000 to 55,000 is species dependent.Calcium Channel Blockers: A class of drugs that act by selective inhibition of calcium influx through cellular membranes.Tunica Intima: The innermost layer of an artery or vein, made up of one layer of endothelial cells and supported by an internal elastic lamina.Phenylephrine: An alpha-1 adrenergic agonist used as a mydriatic, nasal decongestant, and cardiotonic agent.Cyclic GMP: Guanosine cyclic 3',5'-(hydrogen phosphate). A guanine nucleotide containing one phosphate group which is esterified to the sugar moiety in both the 3'- and 5'-positions. It is a cellular regulatory agent and has been described as a second messenger. Its levels increase in response to a variety of hormones, including acetylcholine, insulin, and oxytocin and it has been found to activate specific protein kinases. (From Merck Index, 11th ed)Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Quadriceps Muscle: The quadriceps femoris. A collective name of the four-headed skeletal muscle of the thigh, comprised of the rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, and vastus medialis.Vasoconstrictor Agents: Drugs used to cause constriction of the blood vessels.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Rats, Inbred WKY: A strain of Rattus norvegicus used as a normotensive control for the spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR).Adrenergic beta-Agonists: Drugs that selectively bind to and activate beta-adrenergic receptors.Mice, Inbred C57BLCell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Adenosine Triphosphate: An adenine nucleotide containing three phosphate groups esterified to the sugar moiety. In addition to its crucial roles in metabolism adenosine triphosphate is a neurotransmitter.Carotid Artery Injuries: Damages to the CAROTID ARTERIES caused either by blunt force or penetrating trauma, such as CRANIOCEREBRAL TRAUMA; THORACIC INJURIES; and NECK INJURIES. Damaged carotid arteries can lead to CAROTID ARTERY THROMBOSIS; CAROTID-CAVERNOUS SINUS FISTULA; pseudoaneurysm formation; and INTERNAL CAROTID ARTERY DISSECTION. (From Am J Forensic Med Pathol 1997, 18:251; J Trauma 1994, 37:473)Stress, Mechanical: A purely physical condition which exists within any material because of strain or deformation by external forces or by non-uniform thermal expansion; expressed quantitatively in units of force per unit area.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Masseter Muscle: A masticatory muscle whose action is closing the jaws.Endothelin-1: A 21-amino acid peptide produced in a variety of tissues including endothelial and vascular smooth-muscle cells, neurons and astrocytes in the central nervous system, and endometrial cells. It acts as a modulator of vasomotor tone, cell proliferation, and hormone production. (N Eng J Med 1995;333(6):356-63)Enzyme Activation: Conversion of an inactive form of an enzyme to one possessing metabolic activity. It includes 1, activation by ions (activators); 2, activation by cofactors (coenzymes); and 3, conversion of an enzyme precursor (proenzyme or zymogen) to an active enzyme.Calmodulin-Binding Proteins: Proteins which bind calmodulin. They are found in many tissues and have a variety of functions including F-actin cross-linking properties, inhibition of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase and calcium and magnesium ATPases.Protein Kinase C: An serine-threonine protein kinase that requires the presence of physiological concentrations of CALCIUM and membrane PHOSPHOLIPIDS. The additional presence of DIACYLGLYCEROLS markedly increases its sensitivity to both calcium and phospholipids. The sensitivity of the enzyme can also be increased by PHORBOL ESTERS and it is believed that protein kinase C is the receptor protein of tumor-promoting phorbol esters.Myosin Light Chains: The smaller subunits of MYOSINS that bind near the head groups of MYOSIN HEAVY CHAINS. The myosin light chains have a molecular weight of about 20 KDa and there are usually one essential and one regulatory pair of light chains associated with each heavy chain. Many myosin light chains that bind calcium are considered "calmodulin-like" proteins.Cell Movement: The movement of cells from one location to another. Distinguish from CYTOKINESIS which is the process of dividing the CYTOPLASM of a cell.Cell Proliferation: All of the processes involved in increasing CELL NUMBER including CELL DIVISION.Facial Muscles: Muscles of facial expression or mimetic muscles that include the numerous muscles supplied by the facial nerve that are attached to and move the skin of the face. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Masticatory Muscles: Muscles arising in the zygomatic arch that close the jaw. Their nerve supply is masseteric from the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Norepinephrine: Precursor of epinephrine that is secreted by the adrenal medulla and is a widespread central and autonomic neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine is the principal transmitter of most postganglionic sympathetic fibers and of the diffuse projection system in the brain arising from the locus ceruleus. It is also found in plants and is used pharmacologically as a sympathomimetic.Hyperplasia: An increase in the number of cells in a tissue or organ without tumor formation. It differs from HYPERTROPHY, which is an increase in bulk without an increase in the number of cells.Chickens: Common name for the species Gallus gallus, the domestic fowl, in the family Phasianidae, order GALLIFORMES. It is descended from the red jungle fowl of SOUTHEAST ASIA.Electromyography: Recording of the changes in electric potential of muscle by means of surface or needle electrodes.Muscle Tonus: The state of activity or tension of a muscle beyond that related to its physical properties, that is, its active resistance to stretch. In skeletal muscle, tonus is dependent upon efferent innervation. (Stedman, 25th ed)Intercostal Muscles: Respiratory muscles that arise from the lower border of one rib and insert into the upper border of the adjoining rib, and contract during inspiration or respiration. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Nifedipine: A potent vasodilator agent with calcium antagonistic action. It is a useful anti-anginal agent that also lowers blood pressure.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel: A tetrameric calcium release channel in the SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM membrane of SMOOTH MUSCLE CELLS, acting oppositely to SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM CALCIUM-TRANSPORTING ATPASES. It is important in skeletal and cardiac excitation-contraction coupling and studied by using RYANODINE. Abnormalities are implicated in CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS and MUSCULAR DISEASES.Sarcomeres: The repeating contractile units of the MYOFIBRIL, delimited by Z bands along its length.Calcium-Binding Proteins: Proteins to which calcium ions are bound. They can act as transport proteins, regulator proteins, or activator proteins. They typically contain EF HAND MOTIFS.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Swine: Any of various animals that constitute the family Suidae and comprise stout-bodied, short-legged omnivorous mammals with thick skin, usually covered with coarse bristles, a rather long mobile snout, and small tail. Included are the genera Babyrousa, Phacochoerus (wart hogs), and Sus, the latter containing the domestic pig (see SUS SCROFA).Muscular Atrophy: Derangement in size and number of muscle fibers occurring with aging, reduction in blood supply, or following immobilization, prolonged weightlessness, malnutrition, and particularly in denervation.Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle: Elongated, spindle-shaped, quiescent myoblasts lying in close contact with adult skeletal muscle. They are thought to play a role in muscle repair and regeneration.rho-Associated Kinases: A group of intracellular-signaling serine threonine kinases that bind to RHO GTP-BINDING PROTEINS. They were originally found to mediate the effects of rhoA GTP-BINDING PROTEIN on the formation of STRESS FIBERS and FOCAL ADHESIONS. Rho-associated kinases have specificity for a variety of substrates including MYOSIN-LIGHT-CHAIN PHOSPHATASE and LIM KINASES.Models, Biological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Vasodilator Agents: Drugs used to cause dilation of the blood vessels.Pursuit, Smooth: Eye movements that are slow, continuous, and conjugate and occur when a fixed object is moved slowly.Myometrium: The smooth muscle coat of the uterus, which forms the main mass of the organ.Cyclic AMP: An adenine nucleotide containing one phosphate group which is esterified to both the 3'- and 5'-positions of the sugar moiety. It is a second messenger and a key intracellular regulator, functioning as a mediator of activity for a number of hormones, including epinephrine, glucagon, and ACTH.Myosin-Light-Chain Phosphatase: A phosphoprotein phosphatase that is specific for MYOSIN LIGHT CHAINS. It is composed of three subunits, which include a catalytic subunit, a myosin binding subunit, and a third subunit of unknown function.Smooth Muscle Tumor: A tumor composed of smooth muscle tissue, as opposed to leiomyoma, a tumor derived from smooth muscle.Muscular Diseases: Acquired, familial, and congenital disorders of SKELETAL MUSCLE and SMOOTH MUSCLE.Cell Size: The quantity of volume or surface area of CELLS.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Ryanodine: A methylpyrrole-carboxylate from RYANIA that disrupts the RYANODINE RECEPTOR CALCIUM RELEASE CHANNEL to modify CALCIUM release from SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM resulting in alteration of MUSCLE CONTRACTION. It was previously used in INSECTICIDES. It is used experimentally in conjunction with THAPSIGARGIN and other inhibitors of CALCIUM ATPASE uptake of calcium into SARCOPLASMIC RETICULUM.Heart Atria: The chambers of the heart, to which the BLOOD returns from the circulation.Pectoralis Muscles: The pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles that make up the upper and fore part of the chest in front of the AXILLA.Tropomyosin: A protein found in the thin filaments of muscle fibers. It inhibits contraction of the muscle unless its position is modified by TROPONIN.Microscopy, Confocal: A light microscopic technique in which only a small spot is illuminated and observed at a time. An image is constructed through point-by-point scanning of the field in this manner. Light sources may be conventional or laser, and fluorescence or transmitted observations are possible.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Ileum: The distal and narrowest portion of the SMALL INTESTINE, between the JEJUNUM and the ILEOCECAL VALVE of the LARGE INTESTINE.Myoblasts, Smooth Muscle: Precursor cells destined to differentiate into smooth muscle myocytes (MYOCYTES, SMOOTH MUSCLE).Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Electric Conductivity: The ability of a substrate to allow the passage of ELECTRONS.Calcium-Transporting ATPases: Cation-transporting proteins that utilize the energy of ATP hydrolysis for the transport of CALCIUM. They differ from CALCIUM CHANNELS which allow calcium to pass through a membrane without the use of energy.Indoles: Benzopyrroles with the nitrogen at the number one carbon adjacent to the benzyl portion, in contrast to ISOINDOLES which have the nitrogen away from the six-membered ring.Potassium Channel Blockers: A class of drugs that act by inhibition of potassium efflux through cell membranes. Blockade of potassium channels prolongs the duration of ACTION POTENTIALS. They are used as ANTI-ARRHYTHMIA AGENTS and VASODILATOR AGENTS.Cyclic GMP-Dependent Protein Kinases: A group of cyclic GMP-dependent enzymes that catalyze the phosphorylation of SERINE or THREONINE residues of proteins.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Biomechanical Phenomena: The properties, processes, and behavior of biological systems under the action of mechanical forces.Up-Regulation: A positive regulatory effect on physiological processes at the molecular, cellular, or systemic level. At the molecular level, the major regulatory sites include membrane receptors, genes (GENE EXPRESSION REGULATION), mRNAs (RNA, MESSENGER), and proteins.Sodium: A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol Na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23.Nitric Oxide Synthase: An NADPH-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of L-ARGININE and OXYGEN to produce CITRULLINE and NITRIC OXIDE.Potassium Channels, Calcium-Activated: Potassium channels whose activation is dependent on intracellular calcium concentrations.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Isoenzymes: Structurally related forms of an enzyme. Each isoenzyme has the same mechanism and classification, but differs in its chemical, physical, or immunological characteristics.Transfection: The uptake of naked or purified DNA by CELLS, usually meaning the process as it occurs in eukaryotic cells. It is analogous to bacterial transformation (TRANSFORMATION, BACTERIAL) and both are routinely employed in GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.Cardiomegaly: Enlargement of the HEART, usually indicated by a cardiothoracic ratio above 0.50. Heart enlargement may involve the right, the left, or both HEART VENTRICLES or HEART ATRIA. Cardiomegaly is a nonspecific symptom seen in patients with chronic systolic heart failure (HEART FAILURE) or several forms of CARDIOMYOPATHIES.Hindlimb: Either of two extremities of four-footed non-primate land animals. It usually consists of a FEMUR; TIBIA; and FIBULA; tarsals; METATARSALS; and TOES. (From Storer et al., General Zoology, 6th ed, p73)Protein Isoforms: Different forms of a protein that may be produced from different GENES, or from the same gene by ALTERNATIVE SPLICING.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Penis: The external reproductive organ of males. It is composed of a mass of erectile tissue enclosed in three cylindrical fibrous compartments. Two of the three compartments, the corpus cavernosa, are placed side-by-side along the upper part of the organ. The third compartment below, the corpus spongiosum, houses the urethra.Pyridines: Compounds with a six membered aromatic ring containing NITROGEN. The saturated version is PIPERIDINES.Carotid Arteries: Either of the two principal arteries on both sides of the neck that supply blood to the head and neck; each divides into two branches, the internal carotid artery and the external carotid artery.Portal Vein: A short thick vein formed by union of the superior mesenteric vein and the splenic vein.Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors: Compounds which inhibit or antagonize the biosynthesis or actions of phosphodiesterases.Histamine: An amine derived by enzymatic decarboxylation of HISTIDINE. It is a powerful stimulant of gastric secretion, a constrictor of bronchial smooth muscle, a vasodilator, and also a centrally acting neurotransmitter.Cats: The domestic cat, Felis catus, of the carnivore family FELIDAE, comprising over 30 different breeds. The domestic cat is descended primarily from the wild cat of Africa and extreme southwestern Asia. Though probably present in towns in Palestine as long ago as 7000 years, actual domestication occurred in Egypt about 4000 years ago. (From Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th ed, p801)Actin Cytoskeleton: Fibers composed of MICROFILAMENT PROTEINS, which are predominately ACTIN. They are the smallest of the cytoskeletal filaments.Nitric Oxide Donors: A diverse group of agents, with unique chemical structures and biochemical requirements, which generate NITRIC OXIDE. These compounds have been used in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and the management of acute myocardial infarction, acute and chronic congestive heart failure, and surgical control of blood pressure. (Adv Pharmacol 1995;34:361-81)Calcium Channel Agonists: Agents that increase calcium influx into calcium channels of excitable tissues. This causes vasoconstriction in VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE and/or CARDIAC MUSCLE cells as well as stimulation of insulin release from pancreatic islets. Therefore, tissue-selective calcium agonists have the potential to combat cardiac failure and endocrinological disorders. They have been used primarily in experimental studies in cell and tissue culture.Neuromuscular Junction: The synapse between a neuron and a muscle.Blood Vessels: Any of the tubular vessels conveying the blood (arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins).Ion Channels: Gated, ion-selective glycoproteins that traverse membranes. The stimulus for ION CHANNEL GATING can be due to a variety of stimuli such as LIGANDS, a TRANSMEMBRANE POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE, mechanical deformation or through INTRACELLULAR SIGNALING PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS.Fluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.Microfilament Proteins: Monomeric subunits of primarily globular ACTIN and found in the cytoplasmic matrix of almost all cells. They are often associated with microtubules and may play a role in cytoskeletal function and/or mediate movement of the cell or the organelles within the cell.Arterioles: The smallest divisions of the arteries located between the muscular arteries and the capillaries.Escin: Pentacyclic triterpene saponins, biosynthesized from protoaescigenin and barringtogenol, occurring in the seeds of AESCULUS. It inhibits edema formation and decreases vascular fragility.Receptors, Adrenergic, beta: One of two major pharmacologically defined classes of adrenergic receptors. The beta adrenergic receptors play an important role in regulating CARDIAC MUSCLE contraction, SMOOTH MUSCLE relaxation, and GLYCOGENOLYSIS.Psoas Muscles: A powerful flexor of the thigh at the hip joint (psoas major) and a weak flexor of the trunk and lumbar spinal column (psoas minor). Psoas is derived from the Greek "psoa", the plural meaning "muscles of the loin". It is a common site of infection manifesting as abscess (PSOAS ABSCESS). The psoas muscles and their fibers are also used frequently in experiments in muscle physiology.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).Respiratory System: The tubular and cavernous organs and structures, by means of which pulmonary ventilation and gas exchange between ambient air and the blood are brought about.Aging: The gradual irreversible changes in structure and function of an organism that occur as a result of the passage of time.Ion Channel Gating: The opening and closing of ion channels due to a stimulus. The stimulus can be a change in membrane potential (voltage-gated), drugs or chemical transmitters (ligand-gated), or a mechanical deformation. Gating is thought to involve conformational changes of the ion channel which alters selective permeability.Stomach: An organ of digestion situated in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen between the termination of the ESOPHAGUS and the beginning of the DUODENUM.Apoptosis: One of the mechanisms by which CELL DEATH occurs (compare with NECROSIS and AUTOPHAGOCYTOSIS). Apoptosis is the mechanism responsible for the physiological deletion of cells and appears to be intrinsically programmed. It is characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, chromatin cleavage at regularly spaced sites, and the endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA; (DNA FRAGMENTATION); at internucleosomal sites. This mode of cell death serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth.Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases: A superfamily of PROTEIN-SERINE-THREONINE KINASES that are activated by diverse stimuli via protein kinase cascades. They are the final components of the cascades, activated by phosphorylation by MITOGEN-ACTIVATED PROTEIN KINASE KINASES, which in turn are activated by mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAP KINASE KINASE KINASES).Arteriosclerosis: Thickening and loss of elasticity of the walls of ARTERIES of all sizes. There are many forms classified by the types of lesions and arteries involved, such as ATHEROSCLEROSIS with fatty lesions in the ARTERIAL INTIMA of medium and large muscular arteries.Neointima: The new and thickened layer of scar tissue that forms on a PROSTHESIS, or as a result of vessel injury especially following ANGIOPLASTY or stent placement.