Capsaicin-Sensitive Sensory Nerves Indirectly Modulate Motor Function of the Urinary Bladder

The urinary bladder (UB) is innervated by both sensory and autonomic nerves. Recent studies have shown that sensory neuropeptides induced contractions in the detrusor muscle. Therefore, in a mouse model, we investigated the presence of interactions between the submucosal sensory nerves and the autonomic nerves that regulate the motor function of the detrusor muscle.

UB samples from male C57BL/6 mice were isolated, cut into strips, and mounted in an organ bath. Dose-response curves to norepinephrine and phenylephrine were studied in UB strips with and without mucosa, and the effects of preincubation with a receptor antagonist and various drugs on relaxation were also studied using tissue bath myography.

Phenylephrine-induced relaxation of the UB strips showed concentration-related effects. This relaxation appeared in both mucosa-intact and mucosa-denuded UB strips, and was significantly inhibited by lidocaine, silodosin, and guanethidine (an adrenergic neuronal blocker). Meanwhile, phenylephrine-induced relaxation was inhibited by pretreatment with propranolol and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-depletory capsaicin in UB strips with and without mucosa.

The present study suggests that phenylephrine activates the α-1A adrenergic receptor (AR) of the sensory nerve, and then activates capsaicin-sensitive sensory nerves to release an unknown substance that facilitates the release of norepinephrine from adrenergic nerves. Subsequently, norepinephrine stimulates β-ARs in the detrusor muscle in mice, leading to neurogenic relaxation of the UB. Further animal and human studies are required to prove this concept and to validate its clinical usefulness.

International neurourology journal. 2018 Jun 30 [Epub]

Hsi-Hsien Chang, Shang-Jen Chang, Cheng-Hsing Hsieh, Chun-Kai Hsu, Stephen Shei-Dei Yang

Division of Urology, Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, New Taipei, Taiwan.

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