Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Exp Physiol. 2003 May;88(3):343-57.

Agonist- and nerve-induced phasic activity in the isolated whole bladder of the guinea pig: evidence for two types of bladder activity.

Author information

The Urophysiology Research Group, School of Surgical and Reproductive Sciences, The Medical School, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK.


Spontaneous localised propagating waves of contraction and localised stretches have been reported to occur in the isolated whole bladder of the guinea pig. The physiological role and the cellular processes underlying these events are unknown. In order to gain insight into the mechanisms generating this complex activity, experiments were performed to examine and compare the responses of the whole bladder preparation to (i) the muscarinic agonists carbachol and arecaidine, (ii) the nicotinic ligand lobeline and (iii) nerve stimulation. High concentrations of the muscarinic agonists (>3 micro M) induced a slow rise in intra-vesical pressure upon which were superimposed pressure transients, while low concentrations (< 300 nM) induced only phasic rises in pressure. One interpretation of these data is that there are two separate mechanisms activated by muscarinic agonists: one generating contracture and the other phasic activity. Immunocytochemical staining revealed M(3) muscarinic receptors on smooth muscle cells within trabeculae and a second population of positive cells in the sub-urothelial layer. This observation raises the possibility that the actions of muscarinic agonists are a consequence of activating different cell types. Lobeline (1-60 micro M) activated phasic contractions but did not cause a rise in basal pressure. Atropine did not inhibit the lobeline-induced responses but abolished the muscarinic responses. Also, hexamethonium or tetrodotoxin did not affect the lobeline-induced responses. These observations suggest that the mechanism generating phasic activity is activated by a nicotinic stimulus that does not involve ganglia, nerves or the neuromuscular junction. Stimulation of the bladder nerve at frequencies between 20 and 30 Hz for 5 s resulted in a rapid rise in intra-vesical pressure. Prolonged nerve stimulation (10-200 s) at frequencies between 1 and 10 Hz activated phasic rises in pressure. Low frequency nerve stimulation increased the frequency of agonist-induced phasic activity. Thus, nerve stimulation can also produce two forms of activity and low frequency stimulation can augment the processes generating phasic activity. These observations suggest that there are two distinct types of bladder activity: global contractions involving most of the bladder wall and phasic contractions comprising propagating waves of contraction. The mechanisms generating these contractile events appear to be different and they may involve cells located in different regions of the bladder. The nature of these mechanisms and their possible physiological significance is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center