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J Urol. 2002 Apr;167(4):1876-80.

Norepinephrine content and adrenoceptor function in the bladder of cats with feline interstitial cystitis.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.



Interstitial cystitis is a chronic syndrome affecting humans and domestic animals, including cats (feline interstitial cystitis). The aggravation of interstitial cystitis symptoms by stress suggests involvement of the sympathetic nervous system. Studies have identified increased sympathetic nervous system activity in patients with interstitial cystitis but to our knowledge effects on bladder function have not been reported. To address this question we measured bladder norepinephrine (NE) content, the electrical field stimulation flux of NE and acetylcholine (ACh), and the effects of feline interstitial cystitis on adrenoceptor (AR) mediated bladder strip contractility.


Bladders were obtained from healthy cats and cats with feline interstitial cystitis. In experiment 1 bladder tissue NE content was determined and the simultaneous release of 3H-NE and 14C-ACh in perfusion bath effluent after electrical field stimulation was measured. NE and ACh release was calculated from the area under the efflux curve. In experiment 2 electrical field stimulation induced contractility of bladder body strips was measured in the presence of 100 nM. to 25 microM. NE only or combined with atipamezole (an alpha2-AR antagonist), propranolol (a beta-AR antagonist) or phentolamine (an alpha-AR antagonist). Antagonists were added to the bath at least 15 minutes before stimulation, after which NE was added in cumulative doses and dose response curves were constructed.


Significant increases in NE content and efflux in the absence of alterations in ACh efflux were identified. In the bladder strip studies decreased alpha2 and beta1-AR function was found in strips from cats with feline interstitial cystitis, whereas beta3 or atypical beta-ARs were tentatively identified.


These results support and extend previous studies by identifying an effect of increased sympathetic activity on bladder function in cats with feline interstitial cystitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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