Characterization of bladder sensory neurons in the context of myelination, receptors for pain modulators, and acute responses to bladder inflammation

Shelley L. Forrest, Peregrine B. Osborne, Janet R. Keast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bladder sensation is mediated by lumbosacral dorsal root ganglion neurons and is essential for normal voiding and nociception. Numerous electrophysiological, structural, and molecular changes occur in these neurons following inflammation. Defining which neurons undergo these changes is critical for understanding the mechanism underlying bladder pain and dysfunction. Our first aim was to define the chemical classes of bladder sensory neurons that express receptors for the endogenous modulators of nociceptor sensitivity, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), the related neurotrophic factor, artemin, and estrogens. Bladder sensory neurons of adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were identified with retrograde tracer. Diverse groups of neurons express these receptors, and some neurons express receptors for both neurotrophic factors and estrogens. Lumbar and sacral sensory neurons showed some distinct differences in their expression profile. We also distinguished the chemical profile of myelinated and unmyelinated bladder sensory neurons. Our second aim was to identify bladder sensory neurons likely to be undergoing structural remodeling during inflammation. Following systemic administration of cyclophosphamide (CYP), its renal metabolite acrolein causes transient urothelial loss, exposing local afferent terminals to a toxic environment. CYP induced expression of the injury-related immediate-early gene product, activating transcription factor-3 (ATF-3), in a small population of sacral nitrergic bladder sensory neurons. In conclusion, we have defined the bladder sensory neurons that express receptors for GDNF, artemin and estrogens. Our study has also identified a sub-population of sacral sensory neurons that are likely to be undergoing structural remodeling during acute inflammation of the bladder. Together these results contribute to increased understanding of the neurons that are known to be involved in pain modulation and hyperreflexia during inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number206
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2013. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • dorsal root ganglion
  • painful bladder syndrome
  • pelvic pain
  • visceral pain
  • steroid
  • cystitis
  • interstitial cystitis
  • inflammatory pain

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