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Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2016 Nov 1;311(5):F1063-F1073. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00234.2016. Epub 2016 Sep 21.

Sex-dependent expression of TRPV1 in bladder arterioles.

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Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
Department of Biology, Vinh University, Vinh City, Vietnam; and.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Lewisburg, West Virginia.
Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC;


Transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) is a major nociceptive ion channel implicated in bladder physiology and/or pathophysiology. However, the precise expression of TRPV1 in neuronal vs. nonneuronal bladder cells is uncertain. Here we used reporter mouse lines (TRPV1-Cre:tdTomato and TRPV1PLAP-nlacZ) to map expression of TRPV1 in postnatal bladder. TRPV1 was not detected in the urothelium, however, we found marked expression of TRPV1 lineage in sensory nerves, and surprisingly, in arterial/arteriolar smooth muscle (ASM) cells. Tomato fluorescence was prominent in the vesical arteries and in small-diameter (15-40 μm) arterioles located in the suburothelial layer with a near equal distribution in bladder dome and base. Notably, arteriolar TRPV1 expression was greater in females than in males and increased in both sexes after 90 days of age, suggesting sex hormone and age dependency. Analysis of whole bladder and vesical artery TRPV1 mRNA revealed a similar sex and developmental dependence. Pharmacological experiments confirmed functional TRPV1 protein expression; capsaicin increased intracellular Ca2+ in ∼15% of ASM cells from wild-type female bladders, but we observed no responses to capsaicin in bladder arterioles isolated from TRPV1-null mice. Furthermore, capsaicin triggered arteriole constriction that was rapidly reversed by the TRPV1 antagonist, BCTC. These data show that predominantly in postpubertal female mice, bladder ASM cells express functional TRPV1 channels that may act to constrict arterioles. TRPV1 may therefore play an important role in regulating the microcirculation of the female bladder, and this effect may be of significance during inflammatory conditions.


TRPV1; arterioles; bladder; vasculature

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