Animal Modelling of Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome

The etiology of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) remains elusive and may involve multiple causes. To better understand its pathophysiology, many efforts have been made to create IC/BPS models. Most existing models of IC/BPS strive to recreate bladder-related features by applying noxious intravesical or systemic stimuli to healthy animals. These models are useful to help understand various mechanisms; however, they are limited to demonstrating how the bladder and nervous system respond to noxious stimuli, and are not representative of the complex interactions and pathophysiology of IC/BPS. To study the various factors that may be relevant for IC/BPS, at least 3 different types of animal models are commonly used: (1) bladder-centric models, (2) models with complex mechanisms, and (3) psychological and physical stressors/natural disease models. It is obvious that all aspects of the human disease cannot be mimicked by a single model. It may be the case that several models, each contributing to a piece of the puzzle, are required to recreate a reasonable picture of the pathophysiology and time course of the disease(s) diagnosed as IC/BPS, and thus to identify reasonable targets for treatment.

International neurourology journal. 2018 Jan 31 [Epub]

Lori Birder, Karl-Erik Andersson

Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA., Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, USA.