ATP is released from the bladder mucosa in response to stretch, but the cell types responsible are unclear. Our aim was to isolate and characterize individual populations of urothelial, myofibroblast, and detrusor muscle cells in culture, and to examine agonist-stimulated ATP release. Using female pig bladders, urothelial cells were isolated from bladder mucosa following trypsin-digestion of the luminal surface. The underlying myofibroblast layer was dissected, minced, digested, and cultured until confluent (10–14 days). A similar protocol was used for muscle cells. Cultures were used for immunocytochemical staining and/or ATP release investigations. In urothelial cultures, immunoreactivity was present for the cytokeratin marker AE1/AE3 but not the contractile protein α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) or the cytoskeletal filament vimentin. Neither myofibroblast nor muscle cell cultures stained for AE1/AE3. Myofibroblast cultures partially stained for α-SMA, whereas muscle cultures were 100% stained. Both myofibroblast and muscle stained for vimentin, however, they were morphologically distinct. Ultrastructural studies verified that the suburothelial layer of pig bladder contained abundant myofibroblasts, characterized by high densities of rough endoplasmic reticulum. Baseline ATP release was higher in urothelial and myofibroblast cultures, compared with muscle. ATP release was significantly stimulated by stretch in all three cell populations. Only urothelial cells released ATP in response to acid, and only muscle cells were stimulated by capsaicin. Tachykinins had no effect on ATP release. In conclusion, we have established a method for culture of three cell populations from porcine bladder, a well-known human bladder model, and shown that these are distinct morphologically, immunologically, and pharmacologically.
ATP; porcine; bladder; urothelium; myofibroblast; detrusor; ultrastructure
Normal urothelium is characterised by terminally differentiated superficial cells, which express cytokeratin 20 in the cytoplasm. In contrast, cultured human stratified urothelium, which does not undergo complete terminal differentiation of its superficial cells, does not express cytokeratin 20. If spinal cord injury (SCI) affects urothelial differentiation or induces squamous or other metaplastic change undetected by histological analysis, the superficial urothelial cells of the neuropathic bladder might be expected to show absence of immunostaining for cytokeratin 20.
Patients and Methods
We studied immunostaining for cytokeratin 20 in bladder biopsies taken from 63 consecutive SCI patients. Immunostaining was performed on paraffin-embedded tissue using a mouse monoclonal antibody (clone: Ks20.8).
Of 63 biopsies, the epithelium was scarce in two. Eight biopsies showed squamous metaplasia and immunostaining for cytokeratin 20 was absent in all the eight biopsies. Of the remaining 53 cases, in which the umbrella cell layer of the urothelium was intact, immunostaining for cytokeratin 20 was seen only in ten biopsies.
Superficial cells in the transitional epithelium showed immunostaining for cytokeratin 20 in 10 of 53 bladder biopsies taken from SCI patients. The reasons for this could be either that there is an underlying metaplasia or that changes in the neuropathic bladder affect urothelial differentiation. Taken with evidence from other systems, such as loss of cytokeratin 20 expression from static organ cultures of urothelial tissue, this might suggest that other factors, such as impairment of voluntary voiding in SCI patients, could affect expression of markers such as cytokeratin 20.
We report the impact of anti-urothelial autoantibody (AUAb) on urinary bladder phenotype in BALB/c mice deficient of the FcγRIIb and PD-1. AUAb was present in serum samples from approximately half of the double-knockout (DKO) mice, as detected by immunofluorescence and immunoblots for urothelial proteins including uroplakin IIIa. The AUAb-positive DKO mice showed degeneration of urothelial plaque and umbrella cells, along with infiltration of inflammatory cells in the suburothelial layer. TNFα and IL-1β were upregulated in the bladder and the urine of AUAb-positive DKO mice. Voiding behavior of mice was analyzed by the Voided Stain on Paper method. 10-week-old and older AUAb-positive DKO mice voided significantly less urine per void than did wild type (WT) mice. Furthermore, administration of the AUAb-containing serum to WT mice significantly reduced their urine volume per void. In summary, this report presents a novel comprehensive mouse model of autoimmune cystitis.
Urothelial differentiation is essential for the maintenance of urinary bladder function. We explored expression and function of 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (PGDH) during urothelial differentiation.
Expression of PGDH was evaluated by Northern and Western blotting and immunostaining in human urothelial cultures, cell lines and tissues. Enzymatic function was determined using enyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Small inhibitory ribonucleic acids were used to inhibit PGDH expression in human bladder cancer cells.
PGDH messenger ribonucleic acid was increased in an in vitro model of human urothelial differentiation by Northern blotting. Western blotting of human bladder cancer cell lines showed expression in the well-differentiated RT4 cells, and no expression in poorly-differentiated UC3 cells. Immunostaining showed that PGDH expression increased with differentiation in normal bladder urothelium. The enzyme is functional in the well-differentiated RT4 human bladder cancer cell line. Inhibition of PGDH expression results in disruption of E-cadherin expression at cell-cell contacts in well-differentiated RT4 bladder cancer cells.
These studies indicate that PGDH expression is associated with urothelial differentiation, and loss of PGDH expression results in disruption of urothelial differentiation.
Induction of smooth muscle differentiation from bladder mesenchyme depends on signals that originate from the urothelium. We hypothesize Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is the urothelial signal that promotes bladder mesenchymal proliferation and induces bladder smooth muscle differentiation.
Pregnant FVB mice were euthanized on embryonic day (E) 12.5 and fetal bladders were harvested. Two experimental protocols were utilized:
Bladder mesenchyme (BLM) was isolated by incubating intact bladders (IB) in 0.02 M EDTA and then removing the urothelium by microdissection. IB and BLM were cultured in Shh-deficient media or BLM was cultured in Shh-supplemented (480 nM) media for 72 h.IB were cultured for 72 h in media containing different concentrations of Shh (0, 48, and 480 nM).
Specimens were sized by serial sectioning. Cell counts were performed after trypsin digestion. Immunohistochemistry was performed to detect smooth muscle-specific protein expression. α-Actin expression was quantified using Western blot.
All specimens were viable at 72 h. BLM cultured without Shh survived but did not grow or undergo smooth muscle differentiation. IB cultured without Shh and BLM cultured with Shh grew and expressed smooth muscle proteins at 72 h. IB cultured with Shh were larger and contained more cells than IB cultured without Shh (all p <0.05). Increasing Shh concentration from 48 to 480 nM did not change bladder size, cell counts, or the level of α-actin expression. Prior to culture, IB did not express α-actin. After culture of IB in Shh-deficient media, α-actin was detected throughout the mesenchyme except in the submucosal layer. The IB submucosa was thinner after culture with 48 nM Shh and smooth muscle completely obliterated the submucosa after culture with 480 nM Shh.
In fetal mouse bladders, urothelium-derived Shh is necessary for mesenchymal proliferation and smooth muscle differentiation. Shh concentration affects mesenchymal proliferation and patterning of bladder smooth muscle.
Bladder; Urothelium; Sonic hedgehog; Smooth muscle differentiation
We reported previously that both subtypes of estrogen receptors, ERα and ERβ, are expressed by human urothelial cells and mediate estrogen-induced cell proliferation in these cells. The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which each ER subtype contributes to urothelial cell proliferation and their possible involvement in the regulation of the cell cycle. We compared the expression of ERα and ERβ mRNAs and protein quantitatively in primarily cultured human bladder urothelial cells obtained from six individuals with three immortalized urothelial (E6, E7, and UROtsa) and two bladder cancer cell lines (HTB-9 and T24). We found that all these cells express similar levels of ERβ, but immortalized and cancer cells express much higher amounts of ERα than primary cells. Higher levels of ERα mRNA were also observed in the biopsies of bladder transitional cell carcinoma compared with sample from the same bladder unaffected by tumor. Using the ERα-selective agonist PPT, the ERβ-selective agonist DPN, and specific small interfering RNA against ERα or ERβ, we found that ERβ predominantly mediates estrogen-induced G1/S transition and cell proliferation in the primary urothelial cells. By contrast, ERα predominantly mediates estrogen-induced G1/S transition and cell proliferation in bladder cancer cell lines. Furthermore, we found that 17β-estradiol (E2) rapidly induces phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases, but U0126, a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor, does not affect E2-induced urothelial cell proliferation. E2 up-regulated cyclin D1 and cyclin E expression in both the primary and bladder cancer cells, and the cancer cells have higher cyclin D1 and cyclin E expression during G0/G1 phases. Our data suggest that estrogen exerts its effects through different ER subtypes in urothelial cells. Increased expression of ERα may contribute to early induction of cyclin D1 and cyclin E during the cell cycle in bladder cancer cells.
The primary function of the urothelium is to provide the tightest and most impermeable barrier in the body, i.e. the blood-urine barrier. Urothelial plaques are formed and inserted into the apical plasma membrane during advanced stages of urothelial cell differentiation. Currently, it is supposed that differentiation with the final formation of urothelial plaques is hindered in cultured urothelial cells. With the aid of the high-resolution imaging technique of freeze-fracture replica immunolabelling, we here provide evidence that urothelial cells in vitro form uroplakin-positive urothelial plaques, localized in fusiform-shaped vesicles and apical plasma membranes. With the establishment of such an in vitro model of urothelial cells with fully developed urothelial plaques and functional properties equivalent to normal bladder urothelium, new perspectives have emerged which challenge prevailing concepts of apical plasma membrane biogenesis and blood-urine barrier development. This may hopefully provide a timely impulse for many ongoing studies and open up new questions for future research.
Bladder suburothelial myofibroblasts may modulate both sensory responses from the bladder wall and spontaneous activity. This study aimed to characterize further these cells in their response to exogenous agents implicated in mediating the above activity. Detrusor strips, with or without mucosa, and isolated suburothelial myofibroblasts were prepared from guinea pig bladders. Isometric tension, intracellular Ca2+, and membrane current were recorded. Cell pairs were formed by pushing two cells together. Tension, intracellular Ca2+, and membrane potential were also recorded from bladder sheets using normal or spinal cord-transected (SCT) rats. Spontaneous contractions were greater in detrusor strips with an intact mucosa and were augmented by 10 μM UTP. ATP, UTP, or reduced extracellular pH elicited Ca2+ transients and inward currents (Erev −30 mV) in isolated cells. Capsaicin (5–30 μM) reduced membrane current (37 ± 12% of control) with minor effects on Ca2+ transients: sodium nitroprusside reduced membrane currents (40 ± 21% of control). Cell pair formation, without an increase in cell capacitance, augmented ATP and pH responses (180 ± 58% of control) and reduced the threshold to ATP and acidosis. Glivec (20–50 μM) reversibly blocked the augmentation and also reduced spontaneous activity in bladder sheets from SCT, but not normal, rats. Glivec also disrupted the spread of Ca2+ waves in SCT sheets, generating patterns similar to normal bladders. Suburothelial myofibroblasts respond to exogenous agents implicated in modulating bladder sensory responses; responses augmented by physical intercellular contact. The action of glivec and its selective suppression of spontaneous activity in SCT rats identifies a possible pathway to attenuate bladder overactivity.
suburothelium; spontaneous activity; purinergic signaling
ATP and NO are released from the urothelium in the bladder. Detrusor Overactivity (DO) following spinal cord injury results in higher ATP and lower NO release from the bladder urothelium. Our aim was to study the relationship between ATP and NO release in 1) early diabetic bladders, an overactive bladder model; and 2) in “diuretic” bladders, an underactive bladder model. To induce diabetes mellitus female rats received 65 mg/kg streptozocin (i.v.). To induce chronic diuresis rats were fed with 5% sucrose. At 28 days, in vivo open cystometry was performed. Bladder wash was collected to analyze the amount of ATP and NO released into the bladder lumen. For in vitro analysis of ATP and NO release, a Ussing chamber was utilized and hypoosmotic Krebs was perfused on the urothelial side of the chamber. ATP was analyzed with luminometry or HPLC-fluorometry while NO was measured with a Sievers NO-analyzer. In vivo ATP release was increased in diabetic bladders and unchanged in diuretic bladders. In vitro release from the urothelium followed the same pattern. NO release was unchanged both in vitro and in vivo in overactive bladders whereas it was enhanced in underactive bladders. We found that the ratio of ATP/NO, representing sensory transmission in the bladder, was high in overactive and low in underactive bladder dysfunction. In summary, ATP release has a positive correlation while NO release has a negative correlation with the bladder contraction frequency. The urinary ATP/NO ratio may be a clinically relevant biomarker to characterize the extent of bladder dysfunction.
Diabetes; urinary bladder; urothelium; ATP release; NO release
In the gastrointestinal tract, interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) act as pacemaker cells to generate slow wave activity. Interstitial cells that resemble ICCs in the gastrointestinal tract have been identified by their morphological characteristics in the bladder. KIT is used as an identification marker of ICCs. ICCs in the bladder may be involved in signal transmission between smooth muscle bundles, from efferent nerves to smooth muscles, and from the urothelium to afferent nerves. Recent research has suggested that not only the disturbance of spontaneous contractility caused by altered detrusor ICC signal transduction between nerves and smooth muscle cells but also the disturbance of signal transduction between urothelial cells and sensory nerves via suburothelial ICC may induce overactive bladder (OAB). Recent reports have suggested that KIT is not only a detection marker of these cells, but also may play a crucial role in the control of bladder function. Research into the effect of a c-kit receptor inhibitor, imatinib mesylate, on bladder function implies that KIT-positive ICCs may be therapeutic target cells to reduce bladder overactivity and that the blockage of c-kit receptor may offer a new therapeutic strategy for OAB treatment, although further study will be needed.
The last decade identified cytokines as one group of major local cell signaling molecules related to bladder dysfunction like interstitial cystitis (IC) and overactive bladder syndrome (OAB). Gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is essential for the coordination of normal bladder function and has been found to be altered in bladder dysfunction. Connexin (Cx) 43 and Cx45 are the most important gap junction proteins in bladder smooth muscle cells (hBSMC) and suburothelial myofibroblasts (hsMF). Modulation of connexin expression by cytokines has been demonstrated in various tissues. Therefore, we investigate the effect of interleukin (IL) 4, IL6, IL10, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGFβ1) on GJIC, and Cx43 and Cx45 expression in cultured human bladder smooth muscle cells (hBSMC) and human suburothelial myofibroblasts (hsMF).
HBSMC and hsMF cultures were set up from bladder tissue of patients undergoing cystectomy. In cytokine stimulated cultured hBSMC and hsMF GJIC was analyzed via Fluorescence Recovery after Photo-bleaching (FRAP). Cx43 and Cx45 expression was assessed by quantitative PCR and confocal immunofluorescence. Membrane protein fraction of Cx43 and Cx45 was quantified by Dot Blot. Upregulation of cell-cell-communication was found after IL6 stimulation in both cell types. In hBSMC IL4 and TGFβ1 decreased both, GJIC and Cx43 protein expression, while TNFα did not alter communication in FRAP-experiments but increased Cx43 expression. GJ plaques size correlated with coupling efficacy measured, while Cx45 expression did not correlate with modulation of GJIC.
Our finding of specific cytokine effects on GJIC support the notion that cytokines play a pivotal role for pathophysiology of OAB and IC. Interestingly, the effects were independent from the classical definition of pro- and antiinflammatory cytokines. We conclude, that connexin regulation involves genomic and/or post-translational events, and that GJIC in hBSMC and hsMF depend of Cx43 rather than on Cx45.
The pathogenesis of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS) is multifactorial, but likely involves urothelial cell dysfunction and mast cell accumulation in the bladder wall. Activated mast cells in the bladder wall release several inflammatory mediators, including histamine and tryptase. We determined whether mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases are activated in response to tryptase stimulation of urothelial cells derived from human normal and IC/PBS bladders. Tryptase stimulation of normal urothelial cells resulted in a 2.5-fold increase in extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK 1/2). A 5.5-fold increase in ERK 1/2 activity was observed in urothelial cells isolated from IC/PBS bladders. No significant change in p38 MAP kinase was observed in tryptase-stimulated normal urothelial cells but a 2.5-fold increase was observed in cells isolated from IC/PBS bladders. Inhibition of ERK 1/2 with PD98059 or inhibition of p38 MAP kinase with SB203580 did not block tryptase-stimulated iPLA2 activation. Incubation with the membrane phospholipid-derived PLA2 hydrolysis product lysoplasmenylcholine increased ERK 1/2 activity, suggesting the iPLA2 activation is upstream of ERK 1/2. Real time measurements of impedance to evaluate wound healing of cell cultures indicated increased healing rates in normal and IC/PBS urothelial cells in the presence of tryptase, with inhibition of ERK 1/2 significantly decreasing the wound healing rate of IC/PBS urothelium. We conclude that activation of ERK 1/2 in response to tryptase stimulation may facilitate wound healing or cell motility in areas of inflammation in the bladder associated with IC/PBS.
The formation of fusiform vesicles (FVs) is one of the most distinctive features in the urothelium of the urinary bladder. FVs represent compartments for intracellular transport of urothelial plaques, which modulate the surface area of the superficial urothelial (umbrella) cells during the distension-contraction cycle. We have analysed the three-dimensional (3D) structure of FVs and their organization in umbrella cells of mouse urinary bladders. Compared to chemical fixation, high pressure freezing gave a new insight into the ultrastructure of urothelial cells. Electron tomography on serial sections revealed that mature FVs had a shape of flattened discs, with a diameter of up to 1.2 µm. The lumen between the two opposing asymmetrically thickened membranes was very narrow, ranging from 5 nm to 10 nm. Freeze-fracturing and immunolabelling confirmed that FVs contain two opposing urothelial plaques connected by a hinge region that made an omega shaped curvature. In the central cytoplasm, 4–15 FVs were often organized into stacks. In the subapical cytoplasm, FVs were mainly organized as individual vesicles. Distension-contraction cycles did not affect the shape of mature FVs; however, their orientation changed from parallel in distended to perpendicular in contracted bladder with respect to the apical plasma membrane. In the intermediate cells, shorter and more dilated immature FVs were present. The salient outcome from this research is the first comprehensive, high resolution 3D view of the ultrastructure of FVs and how they are organized differently depending on their location in the cytoplasm of umbrella cells. The shape of mature FVs and their organization into tightly packed stacks makes them a perfect storage compartment, which transports large amounts of urothelial plaques while occupying a small volume of umbrella cell cytoplasm.
Keratin 7 (K7) is a Type II member of the keratin superfamily and despite its widespread expression in different types of simple and transitional epithelia, its functional role in vivo remains elusive, in part due to the lack of any appropriate mouse models or any human diseases that are associated with KRT7 gene mutations. Using conventional gene targeting in mouse embryonic stem cells, we report here the generation and characterisation of the first K7 knockout mouse. Loss of K7 led to increased proliferation of the bladder urothelium although this was not associated with hyperplasia. K18, a presumptive type I assembly partner for K7, showed reduced expression in the bladder whereas K20, a marker of the terminally differentiated superficial urothelial cells was transcriptionally up-regulated. No other epithelia were seen to be adversely affected by the loss of K7 and western blot and immunofluorescence microscopy analysis revealed that the expression of K8, K18, K19 and K20 were not altered in the absence of K7, with the exception of the kidney where there was reduced K18 expression.
The presence of muscarinic receptors on bladder urothelial cells (BUC), suggests BUC may be a target for antimuscarinics. This study determined whether human BUC are responsive to a muscarinic agonist and if so, whether responses are altered in interstitial cystitis (IC) BUC.
Primary urothelial cell cultures were established from cystoscopic biopsies. Normal (NB) and IC BUC were studied using calcium imaging techniques as a means to monitor the response to muscarinic receptor activation with the agonist, carbachol (CCh). Changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) were measured with fura-2 ratiometric microfluorimetry. Dose-response curves (CCh dose versus [Ca2+]i) were measured in IC and NB BUC. Tolterodine was used to confirm the specificity (muscarinic versus nicotinic) of CCh evoked increases in [Ca2+]i.
CCh induced a dose-dependent increase in [Ca2+]i. Potency and efficacy of CCh was significantly greater in IC BUC. The maximal increase in [Ca2+]i was 136.3 ± 5.1% over baseline in 78 cells from 4 IC patients versus 92.4 ± 4.8% over baseline in 67 cells from 4 NB subjects (p<0.01). The EC50 of the evoked increase was 1.10 ± 0.14 μM vs 3.36 ± 0.72 μM (p<0.01) in BUC from IC and NB controls, respectively. Removal of extracellular calcium or application of tolterodine, abolished CCh evoked increase in [Ca2+]i in IC and NB BUC.
The greater sensitivity of IC BUC to CCh suggests that IC patholobiology may also include alterations muscarinic signaling. The physiologic sequelae of muscarinic activation in BUC need to be further investigated.
To determine the ability of cultured bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) to differentiate into functional urothelium. BMSCs were isolated from the long bones of aborted fetal limbs by Percoll density gradient centrifugation and characterized by flow cytometry. Human fetal urinary bladders were cut into small pieces and cultured for 3–5 days until the growth of urothelial cells was established. BMSCs were then cocultured with neonatal urothelial cells and subsequently evaluated for antigen expression and ultramicrostructure, by immunocytochemistry and electron microscopy, respectively. A subset of BMSCs expressed the differentiation marker CD71. The BMSC markers CD34, CD45, and HLA-DR were barely detectable, confirming that these cells were not derived from hematopoietic stem cells or differentiated cells. In contrast, the stem cell markers CD29, CD44, CD105, and CD90 were highly expressed. BMSCs possessed the ability to differentiate into a variety of cellular subtypes, including osteocytes, adipocytes, and chondrocytes. The shapes of BMSCs changed, and the size of the cells increased, following in vitro coculture with urothelial cells. After 2 weeks of coculture, immunostaining of the newly differentiated BMSCs positively displayed the urothelial-specific keratin marker. Electron microscopy revealed that the cocultured BMSCs had microstructural features characteristic of epithelial cells. Pluripotent BMSCs can transdifferentiate into urothelial cells in response to an environment conditioned by neonatal urothelial cells, providing a means for the time-, labor- and cost-effective reconstruction of urinary bladder mucosa.
Urothelial cells; Stem cells; Differentiation; Coculture
Adult rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) in the urinary bladder is rare, and is the subject of case reports and small series. It consists of sheets of small round blue cells with high nuclear cytoplasmic ratio, brisk mitosis and apoptosis. In this study, we reported one case of pure rhabdomyosarcoma and two cases of urothelial carcinomas with extensive rhabdomyosarcomatous differentiation. In addition, their immunohistochemical profile was compared to that of small cell carcinoma of the bladder. Our study showed that sufficient sampling was critical for the diagnosis of urothelial carcinoma with extensive rhabdomyosarcomatous differentiation. As adult RMS in the bladder and urothelial carcinoma with rhabdomyosarcomatous differentiation shared morphological features with small cell carcinoma of the bladder, appropriate immunohistochemical stains were necessary in the differential diagnosis. We showed both rhabdomyosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcomatous areas of the urothelial carcinoma were positive for myogenin, negative for cytokeratin and chromogranin stains. In contrast, small cell carcinoma was positive for cytokeratin, and 7 out of 9 cases were also positive for chromogranin. Both rhabdomyosarcoma and small cell carcinoma could be positive for synaptophysin, a potential pitfall to avoid. In addition, all of the tumors with rhabdomyosarcomatous differentiation were negative for FKHR rearrangement.
The AKT/PI3K/mTOR pathway is frequently altered in a range of human tumours, including bladder cancer. Here we report the phenotype of mice characterised by deletion of two key players in mTOR regulation, Pten and Lkb1, in a range of tissues including the mouse urothelium. Despite widespread recombination within the range of epithelial tissues, the primary phenotype we observe is the rapid onset of bladder tumorigenesis, with median onset of approximately 100 days. Single deletion of either Pten or Lkb1 had no effect on bladder cell proliferation or tumour formation. However, simultaneous deletion of Lkb1 and Pten led to an upregulation of the mTOR pathway and the hypoxia marker GLUT1, increased bladder epithelial cell proliferation and ultimately tumorigenesis. Bladder tissue also exhibited characteristic features of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, with loss of the epithelial markers E-cadherin and the tight junction protein ZO-1, and increases in the mesenchymal marker vimentin as well as nuclear localization of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) regulator Snail. We show that these effects were all dependent upon mTOR activity, as rapamycin treatment blocked both EMT and tumorigenesis. Our data therefore establish clear synergy between Lkb1 and Pten in controlling the mTOR pathway within bladder epithelium, and show that loss of this control leads to the disturbance of epithelial structure, EMT and ultimately tumorigenesis.
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine expressed by urothelial cells that mediates bladder inflammation. We investigated the effect of stimulation with thrombin, a Protease Activated Receptor-1 (PAR1) agonist, on MIF release and MIF mRNA upregulation in urothelial cells.
Materials and Methods
MIF and PAR1 expression was examined in normal human immortalized urothelial cells (UROtsa) using real-time RT-PCR, Western blotting and dual immunostaining. MIF and PAR1 immunostaining was also examined in rat urothelium. The effect of thrombin stimulation (100 nM) on urothelial MIF release was examined in UROtsa cells (in vitro) and in rats (in vivo). UROtsa cells were stimulated with thrombin, culture media were collected at different time points and MIF amounts were determined by ELISA. Pentobarbital anesthetized rats received intravesical saline (control), thrombin, or thrombin +2% lidocaine (to block nerve activity) for 1 hr, intraluminal fluid was collected and MIF amounts determined by ELISA. Bladder or UROtsa MIF mRNA was measured using real time RT-PCR.
UROtsa cells constitutively express MIF and PAR1 and immunostaining for both was observed in these cells and in the basal and intermediate layers of rat urothelium. Thrombin stimulation of urothelial cells resulted in a concentration- and time-dependent increase in MIF release both in vitro (UROtsa; 2.8-fold increase at 1 hr) and in vivo (rat; 4.5-fold) while heat-inactivated thrombin had no effect. In rats, thrombin-induced MIF release was reduced but not abolished by intravesical lidocaine treatment. Thrombin also upregulated MIF mRNA in UROtsa cells (3.3-fold increase) and in the rat bladder (2-fold increase) where the effect was reduced (1.4-fold) by lidocaine treatment.
Urothelial cells express both MIF and PAR1. Activation of urothelial PAR1 receptors, either by locally generated thrombin or proteases present in the urine, may mediate bladder inflammation by inducing urothelial MIF release and upregulating urothelial MIF expression.
Previous studies have shown increased density of M2 receptors in hypertrophied rat bladders that possess an M2 contractile phenotype. The aim of the current study is to determine whether human bladders with an M2 contractile phenotype also have a greater density of bladder M2 receptors.
Materials and Methods
Human bladders were obtained from 24 different organ transplant donors. Darifenacin and methoctramine affinity was determined by the rightward shift of cumulative carbachol concentration contractile response curves for each bladder. Radioligand binding and immunoprecipitation was used to quantify M2 and M3 subtypes in isolated detrusor muscle and urothelium. In addition, pig bladder muscle and urothelial receptors were quantified for comparison.
In the human urothelium total, M2 and M3 muscarinic receptor density is significantly negatively correlated with the affinity of darifenacin for inhibition of contraction of the detrusor muscle. In the detrusor muscle there is no correlation between receptor density and darifenacin affinity for inhibition of contraction. Muscarinic receptor density is greater in the muscle than in the urothelium in human bladders whereas in the pig bladder the density is greater in the urothelium than in the muscle.
The greater density of urothelial muscarinic receptors in human bladders with lower darifenacin affinity, indicative of a greater contribution of M2 receptors to the contractile response, points towards a possible role of the urothelium in controlling M2 mediated contractile phenotype. In comparison between human and pig bladders, the distribution of muscarinic receptor subtypes in the muscle and urothelium are quite different.
bladder contraction; bladder mucosa; immunoprecipitation; urothelium
Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) causes most community-acquired and nosocomial urinary tract infections (UTI). In a mouse model of UTI, UPEC invades superficial bladder cells and proliferates rapidly, forming biofilm-like structures called intracellular bacterial communities (IBCs). Using a gentamicin protection assay and fluorescence microscopy, we developed an in vitro model for studying UPEC proliferation within immortalized human urothelial cells. By pharmacologic manipulation of urothelial cells with the cholesterol-sequestering drug filipin, numbers of intracellular UPEC CFU increased 8 h and 24 h postinfection relative to untreated cultures. Enhanced UPEC intracellular proliferation required that the urothelial cells, but not the bacteria, be filipin treated prior to infection. However, neither UPEC frequency of invasion nor early intracellular trafficking events to a Lamp1-positive compartment were modulated by filipin. Upon inspection by fluorescence microscopy, cultures with enhanced UPEC intracellular proliferation exhibited large, dense bacterial aggregates within cells that resembled IBCs but were contained with Lamp1-positive vacuoles. While an isogenic fimH mutant was capable of forming these IBC-like structures, the mutant formed significantly fewer than wild-type UPEC. Similar to IBCs, expression of E. coli iron acquisition systems was upregulated by intracellular UPEC. Expression of other putative virulence factors, including hlyA, cnf1, fliC, kpsD, and the biofilm adhesin yfaL also increased, while expression of fimA decreased and that of flu did not change. These results indicate that UPEC differentially regulates virulence factors in the intracellular environment. Thus, immortalized urothelial cultures that recapitulate IBC formation in vitro represent a novel system for the molecular and biochemical characterization of the UPEC intracellular life cycle.
An explant culture technique was used to culture normal urothelium from patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (transitional cell carcinoma, TCC) (n = 11) and from non-tumour-bearing patients (n = 60). Cell cultures were examined for expression of p53 using the monoclonal antibody p53-240. There was a statistically significant increase in p53 expression in normal urothelial cell cultures from patients with TCC (P < 0.0005). Normal urothelial cultures from patients with TCC also showed more rapid proliferation in vitro when compared with non-tumour-bearing patients (P < 0.0005). A subgroup of non-tumour-bearing patients (n = 14) showed > 5% of cells expressing p53. p53 expression in this subgroup was found to correlate with cell proliferation in vitro (r2 = 0.766). None of these urothelial specimens was observed to express p53 when paraffin-embedded preparations were stained with p53-D07 antibody prior to culture. The rate of cellular proliferation in this subgroup did not differ from that of normal urothelium from TCC patients. Twenty-two paraffin-embedded, muscle-invasive TCC specimens were also evaluated for p53 expression using p53-D07. The expression of p53 in these tumours did not differ from that observed in normal urothelial cell cultures from patients with TCC (P = 0.26). This study identifies an overexpression of p53 in normal urothelial cells from patients with TCC and in proliferating cultures from a significant subgroup of patients without malignant disease. Increased p53 expression in normal cultured urothelial cells from patients with bladder cancer implies a global change in the mechanisms controlling urothelial cell division. This may represent an early step in the pathway to carcinogenesis.
Endocervicosis in the urinary bladder is a rare benign condition. We present a case in a 37-year-old woman with classical clinical and pathological features of endocervicosis. The unusual observation of endocervical-like mucinous epithelium in continuity with the urothelium in addition to fully developed endocervicosis prompted immunohistochemical profiling of the case using antibodies to cytokeratins (AE1/AE3, CK19, CK7, CK5/6, CK20), HBME-1, estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) to assess the relationship of the surface mucinous and endocervicosis glandular epithelia. The surface mucinous epithelium, urothelium and endocervicosis glands were immunopositive for AE1/AE3, CK7 and CK19 while CK20 was only expressed by few urothelial umbrella cells. The surface mucinous epithelium was CK5/6 and HBME-1 immunonegative but showed presence of ER and PR. This was in contrast to the urothelium's expression of CK5/6 but not ER and PR. In comparison, endocervicosis glands expressed HBME-1, unlike the surface mucinous epithelium. The endocervicosis epithelium also demonstrated the expected presence of ER and PR and CK5/6 immunonegativity. The slightly differing immunohistochemical phenotypes of the surface mucinous and morphologically similar endocervicosis glandular epithelium is interesting and requires further clarification to its actual nature. The patient has remained well and without evidence of disease 18-months following transurethral resection of the lesion.
Light microscopic evaluation of cell morphology in preparations from urine or bladder washing containing exfoliated cells is a standard and primary method for the detection of bladder cancer and also malignancy from other parts of the urinary tract. The cytopathologic examination is a valuable method to detect an early recurrence of malignancy or new primary carcinoma during the follow-up of patients after the treatment of bladder cancer.
Characteristic cellular and nuclear signs of malignancy indicate invasive or in situ urothelial carcinoma or high-grade papillary urothelial carcinoma. However, low sensitivity of the method reflects the unreliable cytopathologic diagnosis of low-grade urothelial neoplasms as cellular and nuclear signs of malignancy in these neoplasms are poorly manifested. Many different markers were developed to improve the diagnosis of bladder carcinoma on urinary samples. UroVysion™ test is among the newest and most promising tests. By the method of in situ hybridization one can detect specific cytogenetic changes of urothelial carcinoma.
cytology; urine; bladder washing; urothelial carcinoma
Suburothelial myofibroblasts (sMF) are located underneath the urothelium in close proximity to afferent nerves. They express purinergic receptors and show calcium transients in response to ATP. Therefore they are supposed to be involved in afferent signaling of the bladder fullness. Since ATP concentration is likely to be very low during the initial filling phase, we hypothesized that sMF Ca2+ activity is affected even at very low ATP concentrations. We investigated ATP induced modulation of spontaneous activity, intracellular calcium response and purinergic signaling in cultured sMF.
Myofibroblast cultures, established from cystectomies, were challenged by exogenous ATP in presence or absence of purinergic antagonist. Fura-2 calcium imaging was used to monitor ATP (10−16 to 10−4 mol/l) induced alterations of calcium activity. Purinergic receptors (P2X1, P2X2, P2X3) were analysed by confocal immunofluorescence. We found spontaneous calcium activity in 55.18%±1.65 of the sMF (N = 48 experiments). ATP significantly increased calcium activity even at 10−16 mol/l. The calcium transients were partially attenuated by subtype selective antagonist (TNP-ATP, 1 µM; A-317491, 1 µM), and were mimicked by the P2X1, P2X3 selective agonist α,β-methylene ATP. The expression of purinergic receptor subtypes in sMF was confirmed by immunofluorescence.
Our experiments demonstrate for the first time that ATP can modulate spontaneous activity and induce intracellular Ca2+ response in cultured sMF at very low concentrations, most likely involving P2X receptors. These findings support the notion that sMF are able to register bladder fullness very sensitively, which predestines them for the modulation of the afferent bladder signaling in normal and pathological conditions.