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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1992 Nov;70(11):1457-67.

Mechanoreceptor afferent activity compared with receptor field dimensions and pressure changes in feline urinary bladder.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S., Canada.


The relationship between vesical mechanoreceptor field dimensions and afferent nerve activity recorded in pelvic plexus nerve filaments was examined in chloralose-anesthetized cats. Orthogonal receptor field dimensions were monitored with piezoelectric ultrasonic crystals. Reflexly generated bladder contractile activity made measurements difficult, therefore data were collected from cats subjected to actual sacral rhizotomy. Afferent activity was episodic and was initiated at different pressure and receptor field dimension thresholds. Maximum afferent activity did not correlate with maximum volume or pressure. Furthermore, activity was not linearly related to intravesical pressure, receptor field dimensions, or calculated wall tension. Pressure-length hysteresis of the receptor fields occurred. The responses of identified afferent units and their associated receptor field dimensions to brief contractions elicited by the ganglion stimulant 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenylpiperazinium iodide (2.5-20 micrograms i.a.), studied under constant volume or constant pressure conditions, are compatible with bladder mechanoreceptors behaving as tension receptors. Because activity generated by bladder mechanoreceptors did not correlate in a simple fashion with intravesical pressure or receptor field dimensions, it is concluded that such receptors are influenced by the viscoelastic properties of the bladder wall. Furthermore, as a result of the heterogeneity of the bladder wall, receptor field tension appears to offer a more precise relationship with the activity of bladder wall mechanoreceptors than does intravesical pressure.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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