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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2013 Feb 15;304(4):F390-6. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00574.2012. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

Effects of urethane on reflex activity of lower urinary tract in decerebrate unanesthetized rats.

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Department of Urology, University of Yamanashi Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering, Chuo, Yamanashi, Japan.


Effects of urethane on lower urinary tract function were examined in decerebrate unanesthetized rats. During single slow infusion (0.04 ml/min) cystometrograms (CMGs), urethane (0.3 g/kg) increased micturition pressure threshold (PT) by 73%, postvoid residual volume (RV) by 425%, and decreased voiding efficiency (VE) by 57%, but did not change maximal voiding pressure (MVP), closing peak pressure (CPP), bladder compliance, bladder contraction duration (BCD), or volume threshold (VT) for inducing micturition. Lower doses (0.01-0.1 g/kg) did not alter any parameter. During continuous fast infusion (0.21 ml/min) CMGs, urethane at doses of 0.6-1.2 g/kg (iv) markedly decreased CPP by 69-85%, whereas only the largest dose (1.2 g/kg iv) decreased MVP and external urethral sphincter electromyogram activity by 42 and by 80%, respectively. Doses of 0.001-0.6 g/kg did not alter the intercontraction interval and BCD. Taken together, these results suggest that urethral activity, which is essential for efficient voiding, is more sensitive to the suppressive effect of urethane than afferent or efferent mechanisms controlling the bladder. The threshold dose of MK-801 (0.3 mg/kg), an NMDA antagonist, required to decrease MVP and increase VT in urethane (1.2 g/kg)-anesthetized rats, only increased VT in rats treated with a subanesthetic dose of urethane (0.3 g/kg), suggesting a higher sensitivity of the afferent vs. efferent limb of the micturition reflex pathway to urethane-MK-801 interactions. Because effects of urethane persisted after removal of the forebrain, they must be mediated by actions on the brain stem, spinal cord, or peripheral nervous system.

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