The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Smooth muscle

Smooth muscle is a type of non-striated muscle, found within the "walls" of hollow organs; such as blood vessels, bladders, uteri. gastrointestinal tracts, Smooth muscle is used to move matter within the body, via contraction; it generally operates "involuntarily", without nerve stimulation. Smooth muscle cells are joined to each other through gap junctions, and a relatively slow wave of contraction is propagated through the muscle. Smooth muscle cells are uninucleic and can sustain contractions indefinitely.

"Smooth muscle condition" is a condition in which the body of a developing embryo does not create enough smooth muscle for the gastrointestinal system. This condition is fatal.

Anti-smooth muscle antibodies (ASMA) can be a symptom of an auto-immune disorder, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or lupus.

See also: skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, vascular smooth muscle

External links

  • BBC - baby born with smooth muscle condition has 8 organs transplanted
  • Third Age - info on ASMA

Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04