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Br J Pharmacol. 2003 Mar;138(5):757-66.

Expression and functional role of Rho-kinase in rat urinary bladder smooth muscle.

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  • 1Department of Renal & Urology Research, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, 709 Swedeland Road, P.O. Box 1539, King of Prussia, PA 19406-0939, USA. alexandra_2_wibberly@gsk.com


(1) The involvement of Rho-kinase (ROCK) in the contractile mechanisms mediating smooth muscle contraction of the rat urinary bladder was investigated using expression studies and the ROCK inhibitor Y-27632. (2) Both isoforms of ROCK (ROCK I and ROCK II) were detected in high levels in rat urinary bladder. (3) Y-27632 (10 micro M) significantly attenuated contractions of rat urinary bladder strips evoked by the G-protein coupled receptor agonists carbachol (58.1+/-10.5% at 0.3 micro M) and neurokinin A (68.6+/-12.7% at 1 micro M) without affecting contractions to potassium chloride (10-100 mM). In addition, basal tone was reduced by 47.8+/-2.0% by 10 micro M Y-27632 in the absence of stimulation. (4) Contractions of urinary bladder strips evoked by the P2X receptor agonist alpha,beta-methylene ATP (alpha,beta-mATP; 10 micro M) were also attenuated by Y-27632 (30.0+/-7.2% at 10 micro M). (5) Y-27632 (10 micro M) significantly attenuated contractions evoked by electrical field stimulation (2-16 Hz). The effect of Y-27632 on the tonic portion of the neurogenic response (4-16 Hz) was not significantly different from the effect of atropine (1 micro M) alone. (6) While the mechanism underlying the ability of Y-27632 to inhibit alpha,beta-mATP-evoked contractions remains undetermined, the results of the present study clearly demonstrate a role for ROCK in the regulation of rat urinary bladder smooth muscle contraction and tone.

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