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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2007 Nov;293(5):F1461-7. Epub 2007 Aug 22.

Changes in urinary bladder smooth muscle function in response to colonic inflammation.

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Oklahoma Center for Neurosciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.


Visceral organ "cross talk" is suspected to contribute to multiorgan symptomatology found in conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and interstitial cystitis. The goal of the present study was to investigate the short- and long-term effects of acute colitis on bladder detrusor muscle contractility. We hypothesized that inflammation of the colon leads to changes in bladder function via direct changes in detrusor smooth muscle contractility. In this study, colonic inflammation was induced in male rats via an enema of trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) (50 mg/kg, 0.5 ml, 25% ethanol). Colitis was confirmed using gross morphology, histology, and measurements of myeloperoxidase activity. Saline enema-treated rats served as controls. Three, 15, and 30 days postenema treatment, bladder detrusor muscle contractility was investigated in response to electrical field stimulation (EFS), cholinergic agonism with carbachol (CCh), and KCl. During active colonic inflammation (day 3 post-TNBS enema), the bladder detrusor muscle appeared normal and showed no significant inflammation. However, abnormalities in bladder detrusor muscle contractility occurred in response to EFS and CCh but not KCl. During and after recovery from colonic inflammation (days 15 and 30 post-TNBS enema), changes in bladder detrusor muscle contractility in response to EFS and CCh returned to control levels. We found that a transient colonic inflammatory insult significantly attenuates the amplitude of bladder detrusor muscle contractions in vitro, at least in part, through changes in cholinergic innervation, which are reversible after recovery from the colitis.

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