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Neurosci Lett. 2008 Nov 7;445(1):130-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.08.076. Epub 2008 Aug 31.

Cannabinoid receptor 2 is increased in acutely and chronically inflamed bladder of rats.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) are G-protein coupled receptors that are expressed throughout the body. Cannabinoid receptors are expressed in the urinary bladder and may affect bladder function. The purpose of this study was twofold: to confirm the presence of cannabinoid receptors in the bladder, the L6/S1 spinal cord, and dorsal root ganglia (DRG), and to determine the effects of acute and chronic bladder inflammation on expression of cannabinoid receptors. Acute or chronic bladder inflammation was induced in rats by intravesical administration of acrolein. Abundance of CB1 and CB2 protein and their respective mRNA was determined using immunoblotting and quantitative real-time PCR, respectively. We confirmed the presence of CB1 and CB2 receptor protein and mRNA in bladder, L6-S spinal cord, and DRG. Acute bladder inflammation induced increased expression of CB2, but not CB1, protein in the bladder detrusor. Chronic bladder inflammation increased expression of bladder CB2 protein and mRNA but not CB1 protein or mRNA. Expression of CB1 or CB2 in spinal cord or DRG was unaffected by acute or chronic bladder inflammation. CB1 and CB2 receptors are present in the bladder and its associated innervation, and CB2 receptors are up-regulated in bladder after acute or chronic inflammation. CB2 receptors may be a viable target for pharmacological treatment of bladder inflammation and associated pain.

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