Original Publication Date
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-RENAL PHYSIOLOGY
DOI of Original Publication
Date of Submission
Biological soft tissues are viscoelastic because they display timeindependent pseudoelasticity and time-dependent viscosity. However, there is evidence that the bladder may also display plasticity, defined as an increase in strain that is unrecoverable unless work is done by the muscle. In the present study, an electronic lever was used to induce controlled changes in stress and strain to determine whether rabbit detrusor smooth muscle (rDSM) is best described as viscoelastic or viscoelastic plastic. Using sequential ramp loading and unloading cycles, stress-strain and stiffness-stress analyses revealed that rDSM displayed reversible viscoelasticity, and that the viscous component was responsible for establishing a high stiffness at low stresses that increased only modestly with increasing stress compared with the large increase produced when the viscosity was absent and only pseudoelasticity governed tissue behavior. The study also revealed that rDSM underwent softening correlating with plastic deformation and creep that was reversed slowly when tissues were incubated in a Ca2+ -containing solution. Together, the data support a model of DSM as a viscoelastic-plastic material, with the plasticity resulting from motor protein activation. This model explains the mechanism of intrinsic bladder compliance as "slipping" cross bridges, predicts that wall tension is dependent not only on vesicle pressure and radius but also on actomyosin cross-bridge activity, and identifies a novel molecular target for compliance regulation, both physiologically and therapeutically.
Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society
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VCU Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Publications