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Contractile properties of the smooth muscle fibers in the uterus

, : Contractile properties of the smooth muscle fibers in the uterus. Gynecologie 25: 321-340

Tangential sections of the gravid guinea pig's uterus, fixed in various states of contraction, show 3 muscle layers. The fibers forming the middle layer appear to arise continuously with the outer, longitudinal, and to pass inward by a curved oblique course to merge with the circular fibers. This arrangement would make possible a combined traction of the inner and outer layers of the organ, as during peristalsis with shortening. Different strands of fibers, in sections, show undulations or foldings of regular pattern which are characteristic of each bundle. These appearances are taken to indicate that the fibers contract, not only by simple shortening, but by a "sinusoidal" form of contraction wave, enabling the muscle bands to shorten to different lengths with varying forces. Observations on the excised gravid uterus in serum-Locke's solution reveal a shortening in the segment above the fetus, then a cupping of the musculature above the enlargement, followed by shortening of the portion lower down.


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