During growth and development, dietary intake changes from being predominantly liquid in the newborn period to mixed solid liquid meals. These alterations in diet vary the functional demands placed on the stomach. It has been shown that, during development, smooth muscle of the stomach undergoes changes in the mechanism responsible for the contractile process. In this study, we have investigated the possibility that there are structural changes in two of the major proteins that are responsible for generation of force during smooth muscle contraction: actin and myosin. Actin and myosin were identified in newborn kittens (1 wk old) and adult gastric smooth muscle using one-dimensional SDS-PAGE. Although both the antrum and fundus of the kitten have significantly smaller total amounts of actin and myosin per mg protein than the adult, the ratio of actin to myosin is not significantly different between the age groups. Two different myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoforms, MHC1 (205 kD) and MHC2 (200 kD), were identified in all tissues. The relative amount of MHC1 remained constant during maturation of the stomach. We observed an increase in the amount of MHC2 in the adult, which resulted in a decreased ratio of MHC1 to MHC2 in the adult. We postulate that the decreased quantity of actin and myosin in the kitten stomach and the observed changes in the ratio of the MHC isoforms are related to changes in the gastric motor that occur during growth and development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health