Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, South Carolina College of Pharmacy, University of South Carolina, Coker Life Sciences Building, Room 609D, 715 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.
Contraction and relaxation of the detrusor smooth muscle (DSM), which makes up the wall of the urinary bladder, facilitates the storage and voiding of urine. Several families of K(+) channels, including voltage-gated K(+) (K(V)) channels, Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (K(Ca)) channels, inward-rectifying ATP-sensitive K(+) (K(ir), K(ATP)) channels, and two-pore-domain K(+) (K(2P)) channels, are expressed and functional in DSM. They control DSM excitability and contractility by maintaining the resting membrane potential and shaping the action potentials that determine the phasic nature of contractility in this tissue. Defects in DSM K(+) channel proteins or in the molecules involved in their regulatory pathways may underlie certain forms of bladder dysfunction, such as overactive bladder. K(+) channels represent an opportunity for novel pharmacological manipulation and therapeutic intervention in human DSM. Modulation of DSM K(+) channels directly or indirectly by targeting their regulatory mechanisms has the potential to control urinary bladder function. This Review summarizes our current state of knowledge of the functional role of K(+) channels in DSM in health and disease, with special emphasis on current advancements in the field.
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Reference: Nat Rev Urol. 2011 Dec 13;9(1):30-40. doi: 10.1038/nrurol.2011.194.