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Am J Physiol. 1999 Sep;277(3):R786-94. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1999.277.3.R786.

Effect of capsaicin on the micturition reflex in normal and chronic spinal cord-injured cats.

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Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung 407, Taiwan, Republic of China.


The effect of capsaicin (10-80 mg/kg sc) on reflex activity of the urinary bladder was examined in anesthetized normal as well as anesthetized and awake chronic spinal cord-injured (SCI) cats. In normal cats, capsaicin elicited a transient increase in the frequency of isovolumetric bladder contractions and reduced the volume threshold for inducing micturition, but did not depress the amplitude of bladder contractions or the reflex firing on bladder nerves. In anesthetized SCI cats, capsaicin depressed reflex bladder activity and firing on bladder nerves. In awake SCI cats, capsaicin initially decreased the volume threshold for inducing micturition; however, after a delay of 3-6 h the volume threshold increased and intravesical voiding pressure decreased. This effect persisted for 4-12 days. It is concluded that capsaicin-sensitive C fiber bladder afferents are not involved in initiating reflex micturition in normal cats, but play an essential role in triggering automatic micturition in chronic SCI cats. The results are consistent with the clinical data indicating that C fiber bladder afferents contribute to bladder hyperactivity and incontinence in patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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