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Article Title

The Intrapulmonary Airway Smooth Muscle of Mice an Ultrastructural Study

Abstract

The fine structure of intrapulmonary airway smooth muscle of mice was studied by transmission electron microscopy. The fine structure of bronchial smooth muscle cells is similar to that of trachea of other mammals and similar to that of other organs. The smooth muscle cells surround the bronchus like a ring. They are arranged parallel to each other along their long axis. The nueleus is oval in shape and locate in the widest part of the cell. The diameter of the cell profile cutting through the nucleus was about 4.6 um. Other organelles such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus and microtubules were also examined. Only one type of contractile filaments of smooth muscle cells could be observed. The diameter of these actin filaments was about 5 nm. Another type of filaments, the intermediate filaments was found to have a diameter of 10 nm. The structure of dense bodies, dense bands and cavaeolae was similar to that of the smooth muscle cells of other organs. Three kinds of cell junctions were distinguished by electron microscopy in this study. These were the gap junctions, the intermediate junctions and the finger-like processes.

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