Chronic administration of anticholinergics in rats induces a shift from muscarinic to purinergic transmission in the bladder wall

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Background First-line pharmacotherapy for overactive bladder consists of anticholinergics. However, patient compliance is exceptionally low, which may be due to progressive loss of effectiveness. Objective To decipher the involved molecular mechanisms and to evaluate the effects of chronic systemic administration of anticholinergics on bladder function and on muscarinic and purinergic receptors expression in rats. Design, setting, and participants Female Wistar rats were implanted with an osmotic pump that chronically administered vehicle (Vehc), 0.36 mg/kg per day oxybutynin (Oxy c), or 0.19 mg/kg per day fesoterodine (Fesoc) for 28 d. Interventions For cystometry experiments, a small catheter was implanted in the bladder. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis Urologic phenotype was evaluated by the analysis of the micturition pattern and urodynamics. Expression of muscarinic and purinergic receptors was assessed by Western blot analysis of detrusor membrane protein. Functional responses to carbachol and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) were evaluated using muscle-strip contractility experiments. Results and limitations The number of voided spots was transiently decreased in Oxyc rats. In Oxyc rats, the effect of an acute high dose of oxybutynin (1 mg/kg intraperitoneally [IP]) on the intermicturition interval was abolished. Expression experiments revealed a decrease of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors M2 (mAChR2) and M3 (mAChR3), whereas the purinergic receptor P2X, ligand-gated ion channel, 1 (P2X1) was enhanced in Oxyc and Fesoc rats compared to Vehc rats. In concordance with the modification of the expression pattern in Oxyc rats, the force generated by carbachol and ATP in muscle-strip contractility experiments was, respectively, lower and higher. Urodynamics revealed that the effects of systemic administration of the purinergic blocker pyridoxalphosphate-6- azophenyl-2',4'-disulphonic acid (50 mg/kg IP) were enhanced in Oxyc rats. As rat bladder physiology is different from that of humans, it is difficult to directly extrapolate our findings to human patients. Conclusions Chronic administration of anticholinergics in rats induces receptor loss of efficiency and a shift from muscarinic to purinergic transmission. © 2013 European Association of Urology.




Uvin, P., Boudes, M., Menigoz, A., Franken, J., Pinto, S., Gevaert, T., … De Ridder, D. (2013). Chronic administration of anticholinergics in rats induces a shift from muscarinic to purinergic transmission in the bladder wall. European Urology, 64(3), 502–510.

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