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Int J Urol. 2014 Apr;21 Suppl 1:75-8. doi: 10.1111/iju.12370.

Inflammation characteristics in bladder pain syndrome ESSIC type 3C/classic interstitial cystitis.

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Department of Urology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.



Interstitial cystitis is regarded as a heterogenous syndrome with two distinguishable forms: the non-ulcer and the classic form of interstitial cystitis, the latter with Hunner's lesions; or bladder pain syndrome type 3C and non-Hunner bladder pain syndrome, respectively.


A cohort of 379 patients diagnosed with interstitial cystitis was studied. Nitric oxide release from the bladder was measured using a chemiluminescence nitric oxide analyzer. Bladder biopsies from the patients and healthy controls were analyzed by routine histopathological examination. Biopsies from a subset of patients and controls were also analyzed by immunohistochemistry and cytokine gene expression by real-time polymerase chain reaction.


Patients with bladder pain syndrome type 3C/classic interstitial cystitis had considerably higher levels of nitric oxide as compared with non-Hunner bladder pain syndrome/non-ulcer interstitial cystitis patients and healthy individuals, and showed histologically a chronic inflammation in the bladder mucosa, with abundant mast cell infiltration in all layers of the bladder wall. No inflammation was noted in non-Hunner bladder pain syndrome/non-ulcer interstitial cystitis patients. The isoenzymes inducible nitric oxide synthase, the catalyst in the nitric oxide production, was strongly expressed in the inflammatory cells in the bladder mucosa of bladder pain syndrome type 3C/classic interstitial cystitis patients. In addition, the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 and interleukin-17A messenger ribonucleic acid, and of anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 messenger ribonucleic acid showed significantly increased levels in bladder pain syndrome type 3C/classic interstitial cystitis compared with healthy controls.


Bladder pain syndrome type 3C/classic interstitial cystitis is a distinct inflammatory disease and in many aspects shares features of inflammatory autoimmune diseases. These findings could open up novel research avenues with expectations for new targets for pharmacological treatment.


bladder pain syndrome; cytokine; inducible nitric oxide synthase; inflammatory mediators; interstitial cystitis; nitric oxide

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