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J Urol. 1998 Sep;160(3 Pt 1):908-12.

Mechanical stretch increases secretion of parathyroid hormone-related protein by cultured bladder smooth muscle cells.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, USA.


Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) immunoreactivity has been detected in the bladder and increases in response to dilatation secondary to obstruction. The hypothesis that PTHrP could be increased solely by stretch rather than other possible in vivo variables was tested by stretching cultured bladder smooth muscle cells and analyzing the culture medium for this protein. In response to mechanical stretch, PTHrP was increased in smooth muscle cell cultures. Immunoradiometric assay revealed maximal rates of secretion for the first eight hours. Comparison of percent change in PTHrP secretion of flexed cells for the various flex parameters revealed a difference (p = .006) when the degree of stretch (i.e. percent elongation) was altered. The protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide inhibited basal and stretch-induced PTHrP secretion. PTHrP (1-100 nM) relaxed carbachol-contracted bladder body and base by 15% and 45% respectively. PTHrP did not affect bladder contractions induced by potassium (124 mM) or alpha-beta MeATP (10 microM). Increased PTHrP secretion in response to stretch of smooth muscle raises the possibility of an autocrine action to relax the bladder during filling. PTHrP may also exert a paracrine action on vessels regulating blood flow during bladder filling or it may modulate neural activity.

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