Muscles: Contractile tissue that produces movement in animals.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 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.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).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.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 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.Muscle, Smooth, Vascular: The nonstriated involuntary muscle tissue of blood vessels.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.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 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.Aorta: The main trunk of the systemic arteries.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.Mitochondria, Muscle: Mitochondria of skeletal and smooth muscle. It does not include myocardial mitochondria for which MITOCHONDRIA, HEART is available.Muscle Relaxation: That phase of a muscle twitch during which a muscle returns to a resting position.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.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).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.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.Papillary Muscles: Conical muscular projections from the walls of the cardiac ventricles, attached to the cusps of the atrioventricular valves by the chordae tendineae.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 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)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.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.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.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.Abdominal Muscles: Muscles forming the ABDOMINAL WALL including RECTUS ABDOMINIS, external and internal oblique muscles, transversus abdominis, and quadratus abdominis. (from Stedman, 25th ed)Masseter Muscle: A masticatory muscle whose action is closing the jaws.Isometric Contraction: Muscular contractions characterized by increase in tension without change in length.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)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.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.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.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.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)Cell Division: The fission of a CELL. It includes CYTOKINESIS, when the CYTOPLASM of a cell is divided, and CELL NUCLEUS DIVISION.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.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.Electromyography: Recording of the changes in electric potential of muscle by means of surface or needle electrodes.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.Myoblasts: Embryonic (precursor) cells of the myogenic lineage that develop from the MESODERM. They undergo proliferation, migrate to their various sites, and then differentiate into the appropriate form of myocytes (MYOCYTES, SKELETAL; MYOCYTES, CARDIAC; MYOCYTES, SMOOTH MUSCLE).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.Muscular Diseases: Acquired, familial, and congenital disorders of SKELETAL MUSCLE and SMOOTH MUSCLE.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.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.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 .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.Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.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).Arteries: The vessels carrying blood away from 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.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Electric Stimulation: Use of electric potential or currents to elicit biological responses.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.Phosphorylation: The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety.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)Neuromuscular Junction: The synapse between a neuron and a muscle.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Trachea: The cartilaginous and membranous tube descending from the larynx and branching into the right and left main bronchi.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).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)Myoblasts, Skeletal: Precursor cells destined to differentiate into skeletal myocytes (MYOCYTES, SKELETAL).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.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.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.Cell Proliferation: All of the processes involved in increasing CELL NUMBER including CELL DIVISION.Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Temporal Muscle: A masticatory muscle whose action is closing the jaws; its posterior portion retracts the mandible.MyoD Protein: A myogenic regulatory factor that controls myogenesis. Though it is not clear how its function differs from the other myogenic regulatory factors, MyoD appears to be related to fusion and terminal differentiation of the muscle cell.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.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.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.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.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.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.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.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.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.Mice, Inbred C57BLAngiotensin 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.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.Biomechanical Phenomena: The properties, processes, and behavior of biological systems under the action of mechanical forces.GlycogenCarotid 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.Diaphragm: The musculofibrous partition that separates the THORACIC CAVITY from the ABDOMINAL CAVITY. Contraction of the diaphragm increases the volume of the thoracic cavity aiding INHALATION.Motor Neurons: Neurons which activate MUSCLE CELLS.Muscular Dystrophy, AnimalMice, 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.Pharyngeal Muscles: The muscles of the PHARYNX are voluntary muscles arranged in two layers. The external circular layer consists of three constrictors (superior, middle, and inferior). The internal longitudinal layer consists of the palatopharyngeus, the salpingopharyngeus, and the stylopharyngeus. During swallowing, the outer layer constricts the pharyngeal wall and the inner layer elevates pharynx and LARYNX.Coronary Vessels: The veins and arteries of the HEART.Receptors, Cholinergic: Cell surface proteins that bind acetylcholine with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Cholinergic receptors are divided into two major classes, muscarinic and nicotinic, based originally on their affinity for nicotine and muscarine. Each group is further subdivided based on pharmacology, location, mode of action, and/or molecular biology.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.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.Regeneration: The physiological renewal, repair, or replacement of tissue.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.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.Insulin: A 51-amino acid pancreatic hormone that plays a major role in the regulation of glucose metabolism, directly by suppressing endogenous glucose production (GLYCOGENOLYSIS; GLUCONEOGENESIS) and indirectly by suppressing GLUCAGON secretion and LIPOLYSIS. Native insulin is a globular protein comprised of a zinc-coordinated hexamer. Each insulin monomer containing two chains, A (21 residues) and B (30 residues), linked by two disulfide bonds. Insulin is used as a drug to control insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (DIABETES MELLITUS, TYPE 1).Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.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.Vasoconstriction: The physiological narrowing of BLOOD VESSELS by contraction of the VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.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.Myogenin: A myogenic regulatory factor that controls myogenesis. Myogenin is induced during differentiation of every skeletal muscle cell line that has been investigated, in contrast to the other myogenic regulatory factors that only appear in certain cell types.Rats, Inbred WKY: A strain of Rattus norvegicus used as a normotensive control for the spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR).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.Mice, Inbred mdx: A strain of mice arising from a spontaneous MUTATION (mdx) in inbred C57BL mice. This mutation is X chromosome-linked and produces viable homozygous animals that lack the muscle protein DYSTROPHIN, have high serum levels of muscle ENZYMES, and possess histological lesions similar to human MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY. The histological features, linkage, and map position of mdx make these mice a worthy animal model of DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY.Glucose: A primary source of energy for living organisms. It is naturally occurring and is found in fruits and other parts of plants in its free state. It is used therapeutically in fluid and nutrient replacement.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.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.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.Sarcomeres: The repeating contractile units of the MYOFIBRIL, delimited by Z bands along its length.Dystrophin: A muscle protein localized in surface membranes which is the product of the Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy gene. Individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy usually lack dystrophin completely while those with Becker muscular dystrophy have dystrophin of an altered size. It shares features with other cytoskeletal proteins such as SPECTRIN and alpha-actinin but the precise function of dystrophin is not clear. One possible role might be to preserve the integrity and alignment of the plasma membrane to the myofibrils during muscle contraction and relaxation. MW 400 kDa.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.Electrophysiology: 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.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.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.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.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.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.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.Myostatin: A growth differentiation factor that is a potent inhibitor of SKELETAL MUSCLE growth. It may play a role in the regulation of MYOGENESIS and in muscle maintenance during adulthood.Creatine Kinase: A transferase that catalyzes formation of PHOSPHOCREATINE from ATP + CREATINE. The reaction stores ATP energy as phosphocreatine. Three cytoplasmic ISOENZYMES have been identified in human tissues: the MM type from SKELETAL MUSCLE, the MB type from myocardial tissue and the BB type from nervous tissue as well as a mitochondrial isoenzyme. Macro-creatine kinase refers to creatine kinase complexed with other serum proteins.Muscle Cramp: A sustained and usually painful contraction of muscle fibers. This may occur as an isolated phenomenon or as a manifestation of an underlying disease process (e.g., UREMIA; HYPOTHYROIDISM; MOTOR NEURON DISEASE; etc.). (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1398)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).Sarcolemma: The excitable plasma membrane of a muscle cell. (Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990)Transcription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.Chick Embryo: The developmental entity of a fertilized chicken egg (ZYGOTE). The developmental process begins about 24 h before the egg is laid at the BLASTODISC, a small whitish spot on the surface of the EGG YOLK. After 21 days of incubation, the embryo is fully developed before hatching.Aging: The gradual irreversible changes in structure and function of an organism that occur as a result of the passage of time.Protein Isoforms: Different forms of a protein that may be produced from different GENES, or from the same gene by ALTERNATIVE SPLICING.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.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.Mesenteric Arteries: Arteries which arise from the abdominal aorta and distribute to most of the intestines.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.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.Myositis: Inflammation of a muscle or muscle tissue.Arterioles: The smallest divisions of the arteries located between the muscular arteries and the capillaries.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.Vasoconstrictor Agents: Drugs used to cause constriction of the blood vessels.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.Physical Exertion: Expenditure of energy during PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Intensity of exertion may be measured by rate of OXYGEN CONSUMPTION; HEAT produced, or HEART RATE. Perceived exertion, a psychological measure of exertion, is included.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)Tropomyosin: A protein found in the thin filaments of muscle fibers. It inhibits contraction of the muscle unless its position is modified by TROPONIN.Leg: The inferior part of the lower extremity between the KNEE and the ANKLE.Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne: An X-linked recessive muscle disease caused by an inability to synthesize DYSTROPHIN, which is involved with maintaining the integrity of the sarcolemma. Muscle fibers undergo a process that features degeneration and regeneration. Clinical manifestations include proximal weakness in the first few years of life, pseudohypertrophy, cardiomyopathy (see MYOCARDIAL DISEASES), and an increased incidence of impaired mentation. Becker muscular dystrophy is a closely related condition featuring a later onset of disease (usually adolescence) and a slowly progressive course. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1415)Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Blotting, Northern: Detection of RNA that has been electrophoretically separated and immobilized by blotting on nitrocellulose or other type of paper or nylon membrane followed by hybridization with labeled NUCLEIC ACID PROBES.Isoenzymes: Structurally related forms of an enzyme. Each isoenzyme has the same mechanism and classification, but differs in its chemical, physical, or immunological characteristics.Heart: The hollow, muscular organ that maintains the circulation of the blood.Blood Vessels: Any of the tubular vessels conveying the blood (arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins).Muscular Dystrophies: A heterogeneous group of inherited MYOPATHIES, characterized by wasting and weakness of the SKELETAL MUSCLE. They are categorized by the sites of MUSCLE WEAKNESS; AGE OF ONSET; and INHERITANCE PATTERNS.Glucose Transporter Type 4: A glucose transport protein found in mature MUSCLE CELLS and ADIPOCYTES. It promotes transport of glucose from the BLOOD into target TISSUES. The inactive form of the protein is localized in CYTOPLASMIC VESICLES. In response to INSULIN, it is translocated to the PLASMA MEMBRANE where it facilitates glucose uptake.Exercise: Physical activity which is usually regular and done with the intention of improving or maintaining PHYSICAL FITNESS or HEALTH. Contrast with PHYSICAL EXERTION which is concerned largely with the physiologic and metabolic response to energy expenditure.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.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)Myogenic Regulatory Factors: A family of muscle-specific transcription factors which bind to DNA in control regions and thus regulate myogenesis. All members of this family contain a conserved helix-loop-helix motif which is homologous to the myc family proteins. These factors are only found in skeletal muscle. Members include the myoD protein (MYOD PROTEIN); MYOGENIN; myf-5, and myf-6 (also called MRF4 or herculin).Collagen: A polypeptide substance comprising about one third of the total protein in mammalian organisms. It is the main constituent of SKIN; CONNECTIVE TISSUE; and the organic substance of bones (BONE AND BONES) and teeth (TOOTH).Muscle Stretching Exercises: Exercises that stretch the muscle fibers with the aim to increase muscle-tendon FLEXIBILITY, improve RANGE OF MOTION or musculoskeletal function, and prevent injuries. There are various types of stretching techniques including active, passive (relaxed), static, dynamic (gentle), ballistic (forced), isometric, and others.Smooth Muscle Myosins: Myosin type II isoforms found in smooth muscle.Extracellular Matrix: A meshwork-like substance found within the extracellular space and in association with the basement membrane of the cell surface. It promotes cellular proliferation and provides a supporting structure to which cells or cell lysates in culture dishes adhere.Muscle Rigidity: Continuous involuntary sustained muscle contraction which is often a manifestation of BASAL GANGLIA DISEASES. When an affected muscle is passively stretched, the degree of resistance remains constant regardless of the rate at which the muscle is stretched. This feature helps to distinguish rigidity from MUSCLE SPASTICITY. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p73)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.Promoter Regions, Genetic: DNA sequences which are recognized (directly or indirectly) and bound by a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase during the initiation of transcription. Highly conserved sequences within the promoter include the Pribnow box in bacteria and the TATA BOX in eukaryotes.Muscle Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer located in muscle tissue or specific muscles. They are differentiated from NEOPLASMS, MUSCLE TISSUE which are neoplasms composed of skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscle tissue, such as MYOSARCOMA or LEIOMYOMA.Action Potentials: Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.Tendons: Fibrous bands or cords of CONNECTIVE TISSUE at the ends of SKELETAL MUSCLE FIBERS that serve to attach the MUSCLES to bones and other structures.Calcium Channel Blockers: A class of drugs that act by selective inhibition of calcium influx through cellular membranes.ElastinAnura: An order of the class Amphibia, which includes several families of frogs and toads. They are characterized by well developed hind limbs adapted for jumping, fused head and trunk and webbed toes. The term "toad" is ambiguous and is properly applied only to the family Bufonidae.Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action during the developmental stages of an organism.Oxygen Consumption: The rate at which oxygen is used by a tissue; microliters of oxygen STPD used per milligram of tissue per hour; the rate at which oxygen enters the blood from alveolar gas, equal in the steady state to the consumption of oxygen by tissue metabolism throughout the body. (Stedman, 25th ed, p346)Organ Specificity: Characteristic restricted to a particular organ of the body, such as a cell type, metabolic response or expression of a particular protein or antigen.Myometrium: The smooth muscle coat of the uterus, which forms the main mass of the organ.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)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.Catheterization: Use or insertion of a tubular device into a duct, blood vessel, hollow organ, or body cavity for injecting or withdrawing fluids for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. It differs from INTUBATION in that the tube here is used to restore or maintain patency in obstructions.Carbachol: A slowly hydrolyzed CHOLINERGIC AGONIST that acts at both MUSCARINIC RECEPTORS and NICOTINIC RECEPTORS.Hindlimb Suspension: Technique for limiting use, activity, or movement by immobilizing or restraining animal by suspending from hindlimbs or tails. This immobilization is used to simulate some effects of reduced gravity and study weightlessness physiology.Physical Endurance: The time span between the beginning of physical activity by an individual and the termination because of exhaustion.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.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).Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt: A protein-serine-threonine kinase that is activated by PHOSPHORYLATION in response to GROWTH FACTORS or INSULIN. It plays a major role in cell metabolism, growth, and survival as a core component of SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION. Three isoforms have been described in mammalian cells.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.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.Microscopy, Fluorescence: Microscopy of specimens stained with fluorescent dye (usually fluorescein isothiocyanate) or of naturally fluorescent materials, which emit light when exposed to ultraviolet or blue light. Immunofluorescence microscopy utilizes antibodies that are labeled with fluorescent dye.Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases: A group of enzymes that catalyzes the phosphorylation of serine or threonine residues in proteins, with ATP or other nucleotides as phosphate donors.Histocytochemistry: Study of intracellular distribution of chemicals, reaction sites, enzymes, etc., by means of staining reactions, radioactive isotope uptake, selective metal distribution in electron microscopy, or other methods.Down-Regulation: A negative 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.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.Transforming Growth Factor beta: A factor synthesized in a wide variety of tissues. It acts synergistically with TGF-alpha in inducing phenotypic transformation and can also act as a negative autocrine growth factor. TGF-beta has a potential role in embryonal development, cellular differentiation, hormone secretion, and immune function. TGF-beta is found mostly as homodimer forms of separate gene products TGF-beta1, TGF-beta2 or TGF-beta3. Heterodimers composed of TGF-beta1 and 2 (TGF-beta1.2) or of TGF-beta2 and 3 (TGF-beta2.3) have been isolated. The TGF-beta proteins are synthesized as precursor proteins.Tissue Distribution: Accumulation of a drug or chemical substance in various organs (including those not relevant to its pharmacologic or therapeutic action). This distribution depends on the blood flow or perfusion rate of the organ, the ability of the drug to penetrate organ membranes, tissue specificity, protein binding. The distribution is usually expressed as tissue to plasma ratios.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Vasodilation: The physiological widening of BLOOD VESSELS by relaxing the underlying VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE.Muscle Relaxants, Central: A heterogeneous group of drugs used to produce muscle relaxation, excepting the neuromuscular blocking agents. They have their primary clinical and therapeutic uses in the treatment of muscle spasm and immobility associated with strains, sprains, and injuries of the back and, to a lesser degree, injuries to the neck. They have been used also for the treatment of a variety of clinical conditions that have in common only the presence of skeletal muscle hyperactivity, for example, the muscle spasms that can occur in MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS. (From Smith and Reynard, Textbook of Pharmacology, 1991, p358)Insulin-Like Growth Factor I: A well-characterized basic peptide believed to be secreted by the liver and to circulate in the blood. It has growth-regulating, insulin-like, and mitogenic activities. This growth factor has a major, but not absolute, dependence on GROWTH HORMONE. It is believed to be mainly active in adults in contrast to INSULIN-LIKE GROWTH FACTOR II, which is a major fetal growth factor.Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1: A proline-directed serine/threonine protein kinase which mediates signal transduction from the cell surface to the nucleus. Activation of the enzyme by phosphorylation leads to its translocation into the nucleus where it acts upon specific transcription factors. p40 MAPK and p41 MAPK are isoforms.