Changes of the intracellular Ca concentrations play a predominant though not unique role in the regulation of the force development of smooth muscle cells. Contraction is initiated by an influx of Ca2+ through the cell membrane or by the release of Ca2+ from intracellular storage sites. Ca influx occurs via voltage operated channels and receptor operated channels. The intracellular Ca release induced by agonists probably originates from the endoplasmic reticulum. The removal of Ca2+ from the cytoplasm occurs by extrusion across the plasmalemma and by reaccumulation in the endoplasmic reticulum. These active Ca2+ transport systems are catalysed by (Ca2+ +Mg2+) ATPases. Na-Ca exchange across the sarcolemma of smooth muscle is probably of minor importance since the (Ca2+ +Mg2+)ATPase activity of plasma membranes is higher than the activity of the Na+K+ ATPase, the ultimate energy source for Na+-dependent Ca2+ extrusion. The (Ca2+ +Mg2+)ATPase of the plasmalemma has a Mr of 130.000 and it is stimulated by calmodulin. It resembles the Ca2+ transport ATPase of erythrocyte membranes, including immunological cross-reactivity. The Ca2+ transport enzyme of the endoplasmic reticulum has a Mr of 100.000, is insensitive to calmodulin and resembles the Ca2+ pump of sarcoplasmic reticulum of skeletal muscle. However, antibodies against the Ca2+ pump of skeletal muscle do not cross react with the enzyme of smooth muscle. Subcellular fractionation of pig stomach smooth muscle indicates that in this tissue the large fraction of the (Ca2+ +Mg2+)ATPase activity is present in the plasma membrane while less activity is found in the endoplasmic reticulum.