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Urology. 2005 Feb;65(2):400-5.

Capsaicin receptor TRPV1 in urothelium of neurogenic human bladders and effect of intravesical resiniferatoxin.

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Department of Uro-Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, United Kingdom.



To study TRPV1 immunoreactivity in the urothelium of patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO) before and after treatment with resiniferatoxin (RTX) and controls. Functional capsaicin TRPV1 receptors have been demonstrated in urothelial cells of rodent urinary bladder, and TRPV1-knockout mice exhibit diminished nitric oxide and stretch-evoked adenosine triphosphate release from urothelial cells. In patients with NDO, TRPV1 suburothelial nerve density is increased, which is reversed by successful treatment with intravesical RTX. However, the role of urothelial TRPV1 in human bladder disorders is unknown.


Flexible cystoscopic bladder biopsies were obtained from 14 patients with NDO before and after treatment with RTX and from 8 control patients. Using a specific antibody for immunostaining, TRPV1 immunoreactivity in the urothelium was quantified by image analysis.


TRPV1 immunoreactivity was observed in basal and apical urothelial cells. Basal cell layer TRPV1 immunoreactivity was significantly increased in NDO compared with control bladders (P = 0.003). In 5 patients who responded clinically to RTX, basal cell layer and total urothelial TRPV1 immunoreactivity decreased significantly after treatment (P = 0.032 and P = 0.016, respectively). The decreases in the basal cell layer TRPV1 immunoreactivity after RTX were comparable to the decreases in suburothelial TRPV1 nerve fibers in the biopsies previously studied from the same patients.


Increased urothelial TRPV1 in patients with NDO may play a role in the pathophysiology, in concert with increased TRPV1 nerve fibers. Although it is not known whether similar pathogenic mechanisms are involved in the increase of urothelial and neuronal TRPV1, both may be targeted by successful RTX therapy.

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