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Eur J Pharmacol. 1984 Aug 3;103(1-2):41-50.

The effects of topical capsaicin on rat urinary bladder motility in vivo.


The effects of topical capsaicin on urinary bladder motility were investigated following saline-induced distension of the bladder wall in urethane-anaesthetized rats and compared to the effects of topical substance P and acetylcholine. Capsaicin and substance P produced similar excitatory effects in both quiescent and rhythmically contracting bladders, i.e., a TTX resistant tonic contraction followed by a series of rhythmic, TTX sensitive, phasic contractions. Acetylcholine, in doses equieffective in producing TTX resistant contractions was less effective than capsaicin or substance P in triggering neurogenic rhythmic contractions of bladder muscle. Atropine pretreatment prevented the neurogenic component of the excitatory effect of both capsaicin and substance P. Repeated applications of capsaicin but not of substance P led to desensitization. Bladders of animals pretreated (4 days before) with a large dose of s.c. capsaicin developed insensitivity to topical capsaicin and a larger volume of saline was required to trigger neurogenic rhythmic contractions of the detrusor muscle. These results suggest that capsaicin acts by interfering with the mechanism(s) regulating the threshold for the micturition reflex to occur.

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