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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2006 Jan;290(1):C27-34. Epub 2005 Aug 17.

Augmented extracellular ATP signaling in bladder urothelial cells from patients with interstitial cystitis.

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Division of Urology, Dept. of Surgery, Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine, 22 S. Greene St., S8D18, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Interstitial cystitis (IC) is an idiopathic hypersensory condition of the bladder associated with increased urinary ATP and increased stretch-activated ATP release by bladder urothelial cells (BUCs), suggesting augmented purinergic signaling in the bladder. To test this theory further, monolayers of cultured BUCs derived from bladder biopsies obtained from patients with IC and control patients were stimulated with 10-30 microM ATP with subsequent measurement of extracellular ATP levels using the luciferin-luciferase assay. Stimulation with 30 microM ATP resulted in IC supernatant containing several-fold more ATP than control BUCs initially, followed by a slower decrease in ATP levels. This difference in ATP levels was not completely due to activity of cellular ecto-ATPase, because blockade with ARL67156 did not normalize the difference. Exposure to hypotonic solutions resulted in similar extracellular ATP concentrations in IC and control BUCs, but there was a slower decrease in ATP levels in IC supernatants. Treatment of IC BUCs with 10-40 microM suramin, a nonspecific P2 receptor antagonist, significantly attenuated the IC BUC response to extracellular ATP, restoring IC BUCs to a control phenotype. Pretreatment of IC BUCs with 20 ng/ml of heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF), which previously has been shown to be decreased in IC urine specimens, also restored IC BUCs to a control phenotype with respect to response to ATP stimulation. In conclusion, IC BUCs have augmented extracellular ATP signaling that could be blocked by suramin and HB-EGF. These findings suggest the possible development of future novel therapeutic techniques.

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