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Urology. 1981 May;17(5):449-53.

Autonomic innervation of rabbit urinary bladder following estrogen administration.


The effects of estrogen administration on the autonomic innervation of the rabbit urinary bladder were studied. Immature female white rabbits were injected twice daily with estrogen (150 microgram./Kg.) for four consecutive days. Control animals received injections of vehicle alone. The adrenergic innervation was identified using the glyoxalic acid method of catecholamine histofluorescence. The cholinergic innervation was visualized utilizing specific acetylcholinesterase staining. Additionally, the effect of estrogen administration on the response of smooth muscle strips of urinary bladder to specific autonomic agonists was determined. Estrogen administration induced a moderate increase in the adrenergic innervation of the rabbit bladder detrusor, whereas no change could be observed in the cholinergic innervation. It should be noted, however, that whereas the adrenergic innervation in the bladder of the control animal was sparse, the cholinergic innervation in the bladder body was quite dense. Estrogen induced a marked increase in the response to alpha-adrenergic (methoxamine) and muscarinic cholinergic (bethanechol) agonists. No alterations were noted in the response to beta-adrenergic agonists (isoproterenol). These findings indicate that the urinary bladder responds as a target organ for estrogen-induced alterations in autonomic innervation.

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