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Coupled Nitric Oxide and Autonomic Receptor Functional Responses in the Normal and Inflamed Urinary Bladder of the Rat

Journal article
Authors Renata Vesela
Hanna Asklund
Patrik Aronsson
M. Johnsson
V. Wsol
M. Andersson
Gunnar Tobin
Published in Physiological Research
Volume 61
Issue 4
Pages 371-380
ISSN 0862-8408
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 371-380
Language en
Keywords Nitric oxide, Inflammation, Urinary bladder, Autonomic transmitter, Rat, cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis, interstitial cystitis, urothelial, cells, detrusor muscle, smooth-muscle, l-arginine, subtypes, release, atp, contractions
Subject categories Medical Biotechnology


Both divisions of the autonomic nervous system are involved in regulation of urinary bladder function. Several substances, other than noradrenaline and acetylcholine, seem to play important roles in physiology and pathophysiology of lower urinary tract. In the current study, we aimed to examine if there exist interplays between nitric oxide (NO) and autonomic transmitters and if such interactions vary in different parts of the urinary bladder in healthy and cyclophosphamide (CYP)-induced cystitic rats; when administered to the animals (100 mg/kg; i.p.), the cytotoxic CYP metabolite acrolein induces bladder inflammation. In the current study a series of in vitro functional studies were performed on detrusor muscle strip preparations. Stimulation with electrical field stimulation (EFS), methacholine, adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP), and adrenaline evoked contractile responses in isolated bladder preparations that were significantly reduced in cyclophosphamide (CYP)-treated rats. While the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N-omega-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA; 10(-4) M) did not affect contractile responses in normal, healthy strip preparations, it significantly increased the contractile responses to EFS, methacholine and adrenaline, but not to ATP, in the bladders from the CYP-treated rats. In the CYP-treated rats, the ATP-evoked relaxatory part of its dual response (an initial contraction followed by a relaxation) was 6-fold increased in comparison with that of normal preparations, whereas the isoprenaline relaxation was halved in the CYP-treated. While L-NNA (10(-4) M) had no effect on the isoprenaline-evoked relaxations, it reduced the ATP-evoked relaxations in strip preparations from the bladder body of CYP-treated rats. Stimulation of beta(2)- and beta(3)-adrenoceptors evoked relaxations and both responses were reduced in cystitis, the latter to a larger extent. In the trigone, the reduced ATP-evoked contractile response in the inflamed strips was increased by L-NNA, while L-NNA had no effect on the ATP-evoked relaxations, neither on the relaxations in healthy nor on the larger relaxations in the inflamed trigone. The study shows that both contractile and relaxatory functions are altered in the state of inflammation. The parasympathetic nerve-mediated contractions of the body of the bladder, evoked by the release of ATP and acetylcholine, were substantially reduced in cystitis. The relaxations to p-adrenoceptor and purinoceptor stimulation were also reduced but only the ATP-evoked relaxation involved NO.

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