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Am J Clin Exp Urol. 2015 Apr 25;3(1):28-35. eCollection 2015.

Intrathecal cannabinoid-1 receptor agonist prevents referred hyperalgesia in acute acrolein-induced cystitis in rats.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh, PA.
School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin Madison, WI.
School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin Madison, WI ; Department of Urology, University of Wisconsin Madison, WI.


We investigated the capacity of intrathecal arachidonyl-2'-chloroethylamide (ACEA), a cannabinoid-1 receptor (CB1R) agonist, to inhibit referred hyperalgesia and increased bladder contractility resulting from acute acrolein-induced cystitis in rats. 24 female rats were divided into 4 groups: 1) intrathecal vehicle/intravesical saline; 2) intrathecal vehicle/intravesical acrolein; 3) intrathecal ACEA/intravesical saline; and 4) intrathecal ACEA/intravesical acrolein. Bladder catheters were placed 4-6 days prior to the experiment. On the day of the experiment, rats were briefly anesthetized with isoflurane to recover the external end of the cystostomy catheter. After recovery from anesthesia, pre-treatment cystometry was performed, and mechanical sensitivity of the hindpaws was determined. Rats were again briefly anesthetized with isoflurane to inject ACEA or vehicle into the intrathecal space between L5-L6. Beginning 10 minutes after intrathecal injection, saline or acrolein was infused into the bladder for 30 minutes. Post-treatment cystometry and mechanical sensitivity testing were performed. Rats were euthanized, and bladders were collected, weighed, and fixed for histology. The intrathecal vehicle/intravesical acrolein group developed mechanical hyperalgesia with post-treatment mechanical sensitivity of 6 ± 0.3 g compared to pretreatment of 14 ± 0.4 g (p < 0.01). Pre- and post-treatment hind paw mechanical sensitivity was statistically similar in rats that received intrathecal ACEA prior to intravesical infusion of acrolein (15 ± 0.2 g and 14 ± 0.4 g, respectively). Acrolein treatment increased basal bladder pressure and maximal voiding pressure and decreased intercontraction interval and voided volume. However, intrathecal ACEA was ineffective in improving acrolein-related urodynamic changes. In addition, bladder histology demonstrated submucosal and muscularis edema that was similar for all acrolein-treated groups, irrespective of ACEA treatment. Intravesical saline had no effect on results of cystometry or mechanical sensitivity of the hind paws, regardless of intrathecal treatment. Intrathecal ACEA prevented referred hyperalgesia associated with acute acrolein-induced cystitis. However, in this experimental model, ACEA did not ameliorate the associated urodynamic changes. These findings suggest that pain arising from cystitis may be inhibited by activation of spinal CB1R but the acute local response of the bladder appeared to be unaffected by stimulation of spinal CB1R.


CB1 receptor; cystitis; hyperalgesia; rat


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