Molluscan catch muscles are smooth muscles. As with mammalian smooth muscles, there is no transverse ordering of filaments or dense bodies. In contrast to mammalian smooth muscles, two size ranges of filaments are present. The thick filaments are long as well as large in diameter and contain paramyosin. The thin filaments contain actin and appear to run into and join the dense bodies. Vesicles are present which may be part of a sarcoplasmic reticulum. Neural activation of contraction in Mytilus muscle is similar to that observed in mammalian smooth muscles, and in some respects to frog striated muscle. The relaxing nerves, which reduce catch, are unique to catch muscles. 5-Hydroxytryptamine, which appears to mediate relaxation, specifically blocks catch tension but increases the ability of the muscle to fire spikes. It is speculated that Mytilus muscle actomyosin is activated by a Ca(++)-releasing mechanism, and that 5-hydroxytryptamine may reduce catch and increase excitability by influencing the rate of removal of intracellular free Ca(++).
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