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Nat Commun. 2012 May 1;3:809. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1812.

Involvement of urinary bladder Connexin43 and the circadian clock in coordination of diurnal micturition rhythm.

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Department of Urology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.


Nocturnal enuresis in children and nocturia in the elderly are two highly prevalent clinical conditions characterized by a mismatch between urine production rate in the kidneys and storage in the urinary bladder during the sleep phase. Here we demonstrate, using a novel method for automated recording of mouse micturition, that connexin43, a bladder gap junction protein, is a negative regulator of functional bladder capacity. Bladder connexin43 levels and functional capacity show circadian oscillations in wild-type mice, but such rhythms are completely lost in Cry-null mice having a dysfunctional biological clock. Bladder muscle cells have an internal clock, and show oscillations of connexin43 and gap junction function. A clock regulator, Rev-erbα, upregulates connexin43 transcription as a cofactor of Sp1, using Sp1 cis-elements of the promoter. Therefore, circadian oscillation of connexin43 is associated with the biological clock and contributes to diurnal changes in bladder capacity, which avoids disturbance of sleep by micturition.

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