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Urology. 2016 Feb;88:57-65. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2015.10.017. Epub 2015 Oct 30.

Spontaneous Recovery of Reflex Voiding Following Spinal Cord Injury Mediated by Anti-inflammatory and Neuroprotective Factors.

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Department of Urology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Electronic address:
Department of Urology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.



To investigate the time-dependent changes in expression of cytokines that characterizes the spontaneous recovery of reflex voiding after spinal cord injury (SCI). SCI is known to reorganize the neural circuitry of micturition reflex after injury.


Under isoflurane anesthesia, spinal cord of 18 adult female Sprague-Dawley rats was completely transected at the Th9-10 level. Awake cystometry was performed at each time point on controls and 6 SCI animals, and bladder was then harvested for analysis of 29 proteins Millipore kit or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Prophylactic dose of ampicillin 100 mg/kg was administered periodically to all SCI animals.


Spontaneous recovery of voiding after SCI at 12 weeks was evident from increased intercontractile interval and voiding efficiency during cystometry. Expression of proinflammatory interleukins ([IL] IL-1α and IL-1β, IL-2, IL-5, IL-6, IL-18, tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α]) and CXC chemokines (CXCL1, CXCL2, CXCL10), CX3CL1, and CCL2 showed significant elevation at 4 and at 8 weeks with slight decrease at 12 weeks. In contrast, expression of anti-inflammatory IL-10 and neuroprotective factors, CXCL-5, and leptin, was elevated at 8 and at 12 weeks (P < .05). In contrast, expression of CCL3, CCL5, and growth factors (vascular endothelial growth factor, nerve growth factor, epidermal growth factor, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor) did not show any significant temporal change after SCI.


Spontaneous recovery of reflex voiding at 12 weeks was marked by increased endogenous expression of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and neuroprotective factors, CXCL-5, and leptin, which suggests that pharmacological suppression of inflammation, can hasten the emergence of reflex voiding after SCI.

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