This investigation was performed to define characteristics and to design an electrical model of the slow membrane depolarization, or "electrical off response," that follows stimulation of cat circular esophageal smooth muscle. The electrical off response showed the following characteristics: 1) the response was preceded by hyperpolarization of the muscle membrane; 2) the amplitude of the off-response depolarization increased directly with increasing amplitude of the preceding hyperpolarization; 3) the membrane potential showed varying degrees of oscillation around the resting point; 4) the oscillation period was constant (4-5 s) and was double the time from the point of maximum hyperpolarization to the peak of the electrical off response. These characteristics suggested that the electrical off response could be represented by a linear second-order differential equation with variable damping, and an analog simulation was constructed. By varying the damping ratio and/or the natural frequency of the analog model, the characteristics of the electrical off response of esophageal muscle could be reproduced. The model provides a means to explore the behavior of esophageal smooth muscle contraction under normal and pathological conditions.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Physiological Society