Send to

Choose Destination
Res Vet Sci. 2001 Dec;71(3):175-81.

Effects of bethanechol on canine urinary bladder smooth muscle function.

Author information

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.


We studied whether the effects of bethanechol are mediated via a muscarinic receptor, the role of extracellular calcium on bladder contraction, and down-regulation of bladder contraction by bethanechol after activation with potassium chloride (KCl) and acetylcholine (Ach). Smooth muscle strips of normal urinary bladder were studied with standard methods to measure isometric force. Bethanechol caused a dose-dependent increase in bladder contraction. The potency of bethanechol is higher than Ach, as shown by higher peak active isometric stress (P(max)) and lower half-maximal contraction (ED(50)) (P< 0.01). The contractile responses to bethanechol were diminished in the presence of atropine, nifedipine and in calcium-free medium as shown by P(max) decreased by 58%, 87% and 65% and ED(50) increased by 314-, 24- and 16-fold, respectively. When bladder strips were stimulated with KCl and Ach, pre-treatment with bethanechol reduced the responses to KCl by 116-242% (P<0.05), while the contractile responses to Ach were unaltered. Thus, bethanechol induces bladder contraction via muscarinic receptor activation while both intracellular and extracellular calcium play a crucial role on bladder smooth muscle contraction. The mechanisms of down-regulation by bethanechol may be related to interference with calcium influx into the smooth muscle cells, rather than the desensitisation of muscarinic receptors or post-receptor steps of signal transduction following bethanechol binding to the receptor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center