Role of rho-kinase (ROCK) in tonic but not phasic contraction in the frog stomach smooth muscle

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Rho/Rho-kinase (ROCK) signaling has extensively been shown to take part in mammalian smooth muscle contractions in response to diverse agents yet its role in the contraction of amphibian smooth muscle has not been investigated. Therefore, we aimed to explore any role of this pathway in the contractions of frog stomach smooth.

Main methods

The strips were prepared and suspended in organ baths filled with Ringer solution. Changes in the circular strips of the frog stomach muscle length were recorded isotonically with a force transducer in organ baths.

Key findings

Carbachol (CCh) exerted both phasic and tonic contractions. In contrast, atropin abolished all types of contractions by CCh. The phasic contractions were suppressed by a Ca2+ channel blocker, nifedipine but not by the ROCK inhibitor, Y-27632. However, the tonic contractions were markedly attenuated by Y-27632. Selective M1 receptor blocker, pirenzepin, selective M3 receptor blocker and DAMP had no effects on CCh-elicited contractions. On the other hand, selective M2 receptor blocker, AF-DX suppressed all types of contractile activity by CCh.


These data suggest that M2 receptor activation could mainly mediate CCh-induced phasic and tonic contractions, and ROCK seems to be involved in the CCh-induced tonic but not phasic contractions of the frog stomach smooth muscle.

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