The physiological basis of uterine contractility: A short review

S. Wray, S. Kupittayanant, A. Shmygol, R. D. Smith, T. Burdyga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)


In this review we discuss our current understanding of the cellular basis of uterine contractility, highlighting those areas requiring further study. It is clear that the basic processes of excitation-contraction coupling lie within the myometrial cell, and that these may be modified by agonists. Pacemaker activity, however, remains a mystery. The contribution of extracellular calcium entry to contraction is shown to be vital, whilst the role of the sarcoplasmic reticulum remains controversial. Much current experimental focus is on pathways controlling and regulating contraction, and we discuss sensitisation mechanisms and question their role in intact uterine preparations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)


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