This study determined if activation of somatic afferents in posterior femoral cutaneous nerve (PFCN) could modulate the micturition reflex recorded under isovolumetric conditions in α-chloralose anesthetized cats.
PFCN stimulation inhibited reflex bladder activity and significantly (P< 0.05) increased bladder capacity during slow infusion of saline or 0.25% acetic acid (AA). The optimal frequency for PFCN stimulation-induced bladder inhibition was between 3-10 Hz, and a minimal stimulation intensity of half of the threshold for inducing anal twitching was required. Bilateral pudendal nerve transection eliminated PFCN stimulation-induced anal twitching but did not change the stimulation-induced bladder inhibition, excluding the involvement of pudendal afferent or efferent axons in PFCN afferent inhibition. Mechanical or electrical stimulation on the skin surface in the PFCN dermatome also inhibited bladder activity. Prolonged (2 x 30 minutes) PFCN stimulation induced a post-stimulation inhibition that persists for at least 2 hours. This study revealed a new cutaneous-bladder reflex activated by PFCN afferents. Although the mechanisms and physiological functions of this cutaneous-bladder reflex need to be further studied, our data raise the possibility that stimulation of PFCN afferents might be useful clinically for the treatment of overactive bladder symptoms.
Tai C, Shen B, Mally AD, Zhang F, Zhao S, Wang J, Roppolo JR, de Groat WC. Are you the author?
University of Pittsburgh.
Reference: J Physiol. 2012 Aug 6. Epub ahead of print.