Interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) is a debilitating urological condition that is resistant to treatment and poorly understood. To determine novel molecular treatment targets and to elucidate the contribution of the nervous system to IC/BPS, many rodent bladder pain models have been developed. In this study we evaluated the effects of anesthesia induction and temperature variation in a mouse model of bladder pain known as urinary bladder distension (UBD). In this model compressed air is used to distend the bladder to distinct pressures while electrodes record the reflexive visceromotor response (VMR) from the overlying abdominal muscle. Two isoflurane induction models are commonly used before UBD: a short method lasting approximately 30 minutes and a long method lasting approximately 90 minutes. Animals were anesthetized with one of the methods then put through three sets of graded bladder distensions. Distensions performed following the short anesthesia protocol were significantly different from one another despite identical testing parameters; this same effect was not observed when the long anesthesia protocol was used. In order to determine the effect of temperature on VMRs, animals were put through three graded distension sets at 37.5 (normal mouse body temperature), 35.5, and 33.5°C. Distensions performed at 33.5 and 35.5°C were significantly lower than those performed at 37.5°C. Additionally, Western blot analysis revealed significantly smaller increases in spinal levels of phosphorylated extracellular-signal regulated kinase 2 (pERK2) following bladder distension in animals whose body temperature was maintained at 33.5°C as opposed to 37.5°C. These results highlight the significance of the dynamic effects of anesthesia on pain-like changes and the importance of close monitoring of temperature while performing UBD. For successful interpretation of VMRs and translation to human disease, body temperature should be maintained at 37.5°C and isoflurane induction should gradually decrease over the course of 90 minutes. © 2013 Sadler et al.
Sadler, K. E., Stratton, J. M., DeBerry, J. J., & Kolber, B. J. (2013). Optimization of a pain model: Effects of body temperature and anesthesia on bladder nociception in mice. PLoS ONE, 8(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0079617