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Neuroscience. 1992;48(1):217-23.

Effect of the GABAB antagonist, phaclofen, on baclofen-induced inhibition of micturition reflex in urethane-anesthetized rats.

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Pharmacology Department, Research Laboratories A. Menarini Pharmaceuticals, Florence, Italy.


The effect of intrathecal or intracerebroventricular administration of the GABAB receptor agonist, baclofen, on rhythmic contractions induced by distension of the urinary bladder (micturition reflex) was evaluated in urethane-anesthetized rats. Baclofen inhibited bladder motility acting at central nervous system sites (spinal and supraspinal) with a comparable potency. The inhibitory effect of i.t. baclofen (0.1-10 nmol) was blocked by i.t. phaclofen (200 nmol) while i.c.v. phaclofen did not affect i.c.v. baclofen (0.1-1 nmol). The inhibition of the micturition reflex induced by bladder distension observed after i.t. administration of baclofen was unaffected by systemic capsaicin pretreatment (50 mg/kg s.c., four days before). On the other hand, i.t. baclofen suppressed, in a phaclofen-sensitive manner, the reflex bladder contraction evoked by chemical stimulation (topical capsaicin) of capsaicin-sensitive bladder afferents. Intrathecal baclofen did not affect the hexamethonium-resistant tonic contraction produced by topical application of capsaicin on to the urinary bladder, which is ascribable to local peptide release from sensory nerves. Bladder motility inhibition by i.t. or i.c.v. baclofen (1 nmol) was unchanged by previous administration of p-chlorophenylalanine, indicating that the serotonergic pathways do not play a role in its action. Baclofen (100 microM) suppressed the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide-like immunoreactivity evoked by electrical field stimulation from the dorsal half of the rat spinal cord. This response was also abolished by in vitro capsaicin desensitization or tetrodotoxin, indicating that baclofen suppresses transmitter release from central endings of capsaicin-sensitive primary afferents. The present findings indicate that baclofen acts at both spinal and supraspinal sites to inhibit, with different mechanisms, the micturition reflex.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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