Neonatal bladder inflammation has been demonstrated to produce hypersensitivity to bladder re-inflammation as an adult. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of neonatal urinary bladder inflammation on adult bladder function and structure. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were treated on postnatal days 14-16 with intravesical zymosan or anesthesia alone. At 12-16 weeks of age, micturition frequency and cystometrograms were measured. Similarly treated rats had their bladders removed for measurement of plasma extravasation following intravesical mustard oil, for neuropeptide analysis (CGRP or SubP), or for detailed histological examination. Rats treated with zymosan as neonates exhibited increased micturition frequency, reduced micturition volume thresholds, greater extravasation of Evan's Blue following intravesical mustard oil administration, and greater total bladder content of CGRP and SubP. In contrast, there were no quantitative histological changes in the thickness, fibrosis or mast cells of bladder tissue due to neonatal zymosan treatments. Functional changes in urologic systems observed in adulthood, coupled with the increased neuropeptide content and neurogenic plasma extravasation in adult bladders, suggest that the neonatal bladder inflammation treatment enhanced the number, function and/or neurochemical content of primary afferent neurons. These data support the hypothesis that insults to the urologic system in infancy may contribute to the development of adult bladder hypersensitivity.
Inflammation of the bladder early in life in the rat has multiple sequelae including laboratory measures that suggest an alteration of the neurophysiological substrates related to the bladder. Some painful bladder syndromes in humans have similar characteristics and so may be due to similar mechanisms.
developmental; visceral nociception; hyperalgesia; interstitial cystitis
The objective of this study was to determine if neonatal cystitis alters colonic sensitivity later in life and to investigate the role of peripheral mechanisms.
Neonatal rats received intravesical zymosan, normal saline, or anesthesia only for three consecutive days (postnatal days 14th–16th). The estrous cycle phase was determined prior to recording the visceromotor response (VMR) to colorectal distension (CRD) in adult rats. Eosinophils and mast cells were examined from colon and bladder tissue. CRD or urinary bladder distension (UBD)-sensitive pelvic nerve afferents (PNAs) were identified and their responses to distension were examined. The relative expression of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) NR1 subunit in the L6-S1 spinal cord was examined using Western blot.
The VMR to CRD (≥10mmHg) in the neonatal zymosan group was significantly higher than control in both the diestrus, estrus phase and in all phases combined. There was no difference in the total number of eosinophils, mast cells or number of degranulated mast cells between groups. The spontaneous firing of UBD, but not CRD-sensitive PNAs from the zymosan rats was significantly higher than the control. However, the mechanosensitive properties of PNAs to CRD or UBD were no different between groups (p > 0.05). The expression of spinal NR1 subunit was significantly higher in zymosan-treated rats compared to saline treated rats (p <0.05).
Neonatal cystitis results in colonic hypersensitivity in adult rats without changing tissue histology or the mechanosensitive properties of CRD-sensitive PNAs. Neonatal cystitis does results in overexpression of spinal NR1 subunit in adult rats.
cystitis; visceral hyperalgesia; neonatal; viscero-visceral convergence
This investigation examined the effect of inflammation produced by intravesical zymosan during the neonatal period on spinal dorsal horn neuronal responses to urinary bladder distension (UBD) as adults.
Female rat pups (P14-P16) were treated with intravesical zymosan or with anesthesia-only. These groups of rats were subdivided forming four groups: half received intravesical zymosan as adults and half received anesthesia-only. One day later, rats were anesthetized, the spinal cord transected at a cervical level and extracellular single-unit recordings of L6-S1 dorsal horn neurons obtained. Neurons were classified as Type I - inhibited by heterotopic noxious conditioning stimuli (HNCS) or as Type II - not inhibited by HNCS - and were characterized for spontaneous activity and responses to graded UBD (20–60 mm Hg).
227 spinal dorsal horn neurons excited by UBD were characterized. In rats treated as neonates with anesthesia-only, Type II neurons demonstrated increased spontaneous and UBD-evoked activity following adult intravesical zymosan treatment whereas Type I neurons demonstrated decreased spontaneous and UBD-evoked activity relative to controls. In rats treated as neonates with intravesical zymosan, the spontaneous and UBD-evoked activity of both Type I and Type II neurons increased following adult intravesical zymosan treatment relative to controls.
Neonatal bladder inflammation alters subsequent effects of acute bladder inflammation on spinal dorsal horn neurons excited by UBD such that overall there is greater sensory neuron activation. This may explain the visceral hypersensitivity noted in this model system and suggest that impaired inhibitory systems may be responsible.
visceral; urinary bladder; cystitis; zymosan; spinal
The present investigation examined the effect of inflammation produced by intravesical zymosan on spinal dorsal horn neuronal responses to urinary bladder distension (UBD).
Extracellular single-unit recordings of neurons excited by UBD were obtained in spinalized female Sprague-Dawley rats. Neurons were classified as Type I - inhibited by heterotopic noxious conditioning stimuli (HNCS) or as Type II - not inhibited by a HNCS. In Experiment 1 - following neuronal characterization, 1% zymosan was infused into the bladder and after two hours spinal units were recharacterized. Control rats received intravesical saline or subcutaneous zymosan. In Experiment 2 – rats were pretreated with intravesical zymosan 24 hours prior to surgical preparation. Control rats only received anesthesia.
137 spinal dorsal horn neurons excited by UBD were characterized. In comparison with controls, Type II neurons demonstrated increased spontaneous and UBD-evoked activity following intravesical zymosan treatment (both Experiments 1 & 2) whereas Type I neurons demonstrated either no change (Experiment 1) or decreased activity (Experiment 2) following bladder inflammation. No significant changes were noted in neuronal activity in control experiments.
Inflammation differentially affects subpopulations of spinal dorsal horn neurons excited by UBD that can be differentiated according to the effect of HNCS. This results in an altered pattern of spinal sensory transmission that may serve as the mechanism for the generation of visceral nociception.
visceral; urinary bladder; cystitis; zymosan; spinal
Mycotic infections of the bladder produce pain and inflammatory changes. The present study examined the inflammatory and nociceptive effects of the yeast cell wall component, zymosan, when admininstered into the urinary bladder in order to characterize this form of bladder sensitization.
Parametric analyses of the time-course (0–48 hr) and concentration (0–2% solutions) variables associated with intravesical zymosan-induced bladder inflammation were performed in female rats. Plasma extravasation of Evan's Blue dye was used as a measure of tissue inflammation. Cardiovascular and visceromotor responses to urinary bladder distension were used as measures of nociception.
Zymosan-induced bladder inflammation, as indexed by plasma extravasation of Evan's Blue, was significantly greater in rats treated with either 1 or 2% solutions as compared to either 0.1 or 0.5% zymosan solutions. In time-course studies (1 – 48 hr post-treatment), 1% zymosan-induced inflammation progressively increased with time following administration, was greatest at 24 hr and began to normalize by 48 hr. In the studies of inflammation-induced changes in nociception, arterial blood pressure (ABP) and visceromotor responses to graded distension of the urinary bladder were significantly increased relative to controls 24 hr after zymosan administration.
These studies provide important time-course and solution concentration parameters for studies of zymosan-induced inflammation of the bladder and suggest utility of this model for the study of bladder-related pain.
Previous studies have shown that female rats exhibit enhanced cocaine-seeking across several phases of the addiction cycle when compared to males. Drug-seeking in females is also estrous cycle dependent and inversely associated with plasma progesterone. Although sex and estrous cycle-dependent differences have been reported in the reinstatement of cocaine-seeking triggered by cocaine injections or drug-paired cues, it is not yet known what role the estrous cycle may have on stress-induced reinstatement, either alone or in combination with drug-paired cues.
Here, we examined male and female rats for reinstatement of extinguished cocaine-seeking produced by cocaine-paired cues or the stress-activating drug, yohimbine.
Male and female Sprague-Dawley rats self-administered intravenous cocaine (0.5 mg/kg/infusion) paired with a light+tone stimulus for 10–14 days. Lever responding was then allowed to extinguish, with subsequent reinstatement testing occurring 30 min following an injection of yohimbine (1.25 or 2.5 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) or vehicle either in the presence or absence of the conditioned stimulus.
While males and females showed similar cue- and yohimbine-induced reinstatement (3–4 times over “No Cue”-vehicle responding), combining these stimuli resulted in a robust enhancement in cocaine-seeking in both groups, with a greater increase in females (10–12 vs 14–15 times over “No Cue”-vehicle responding for the males and females, respectively). When examined as a function of the estrous cycle, females in proestrus demonstrated higher levels of responding during yohimbine + cues reinstatement.
This cycle-dependent enhanced sensitivity to stress enhancement of cocaine-paired cues may generalize to greater relapse susceptibility under stressful conditions.
sex differences; cocaine; relapse; reinstatement; stress; yohimbine; cues; estrous cycle
This study was undertaken to examine the role of the afferent and efferent pathways of the lumbosacral spinal nerve roots in the tonic control of bladder activity. Changes of isovolumetric bladder activity were recorded in 21 sympathectomized female rats under urethane anesthesia following transection of the dorsal (DRT) and ventral (VRT) lumbosacral spinal roots, and after intraperitoneal administration of hexamethonium. DRT altered the baseline intravesical pressure in a bladder volume-dependent manner in each animal. The percent change of baseline pressure after VRT following DRT was also dependent upon bladder volume. The percent change of baseline pressure after VRT alone was similarly dependent on bladder volume, but not after VRT followed by DRT. The percent change of baseline intravesical pressure (y)(−9 to +8 cm H2O, −56 to +46%) after DRT and VRT depended upon bladder volume (x)(y = 44.7 x −40.4) in all rats. Hexamethonium increased the amplitude of small myogenic bladder contractions after DRT and VRT. In conclusion, the bladder is tonically excited or inhibited by a local reflex pathway and by a parasympathetic reflex pathway that depends on connections with the lumbosacral spinal cord and the pelvic nerves. Both reflex mechanisms are influenced by bladder volume.
Receptor for hyaluronic acid mediated motility (RHAMM) has intracellular and extracellular functions. In this study, we focus on the expression of RHAMM in the rat uterus during estrous cycle and implantation period.
The female adult rats were divided into six groups following estrous cycle determination (n = 36). The utreri of rats were collected according to estrous cycle phases (menstruation group). For the implantation groups, uteri were obtained on D4, D5 and D6 (day of implantation) of pregnancy. The tissue samples were fixed and cut into 5 µm thick sections. RHAMM was investigated using immunohisto-chemical techniques and the intensity of RHAMM was evaluated by using the H-score technique. Comparisons between groups were performed using Kruskal-Wallis test.
The RHAMM immunoreactivity of uterine antimesometrial epithelium (343.00±12.81), mesometrial subepithelium (285.00±27.26) and mesometrial stroma (270.00±36.00) were more prominent (p < 0.05) in the proestrus than estrus (275.00± 25.96; 220.00±14.48; 218.00±11.19) and diestrus (262.00±20.71; 192.50± 29.25; 216.00±12.97) groups, respectively. The most intense staining was seen in the epithelium on day four (275.50±30.06) and six (293.50±34.47) of pregnancy (p < 0.05). Strong RHAMM expressions were in both mature and predecidual cells on D5 (256.00±18.71), (247.50±22.14) and D6 (256.00±30.72), (265.00±14.87), respectively. RHAMM expression was prominent in the nondecidual region on D5 (270.00± 13.36).
Considering the role of RHAMM in cell proliferation, differentiation and angiogenesis, spatiotemporal expression of RHAMM in the uterus during estrous cycle and peri-implantation period is a means through which uterus becomes receptive for developing an embryo.
Estrous cycle; Immunohistochemistry; Implantation; RHAMM; Uterus
Colonic inflammation has profound effects on the urinary bladder physiology and produces hypersensitivity of bladder afferent neurons and neurogenic bladder overactivity. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) expressed in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) plays an important role in mediating sensory perception following visceral inflammation. In the present study, we determined that the expression of CGRP was increased in bladder afferent neurons in lumbosacral DRG following tri-nitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis in rat. After colitis, the percentage of bladder afferent neurons expressing CGRP was increased in L1 (61.2 ± 2.9 % in colitis vs 37.7 ± 5.1 % in controls; p<0.05) and S1 DRG (26.3 ± 2.3 % in colitis vs 15.5 ± 1.9 % in controls; p<0.01). We also demonstrated that the expression of tyrosine kinase receptor TrkB was increased in L1 (39.7 ± 2.9 % in colitis vs 25.2 ± 4.3 % in controls; p<0.05) and S1 DRG (45.6 ± 3.8 % in colitis vs 38.3 ± 3.6 % in controls; p<0.01) following colitis. CGRP and TrkB were co-stored in a subpopulation of DRG neurons in control and colitic animals and the number of DRG cells co-expressing CGRP and TrkB was significantly increased in L1 (2.7-fold, p< 0.01) and S1 DRG (2.4-fold, p<0.01) following colitis. In cultured DRG, exogenous BDNF application significantly increased CGRP expression, which was blocked by TrkB selective inhibitor K252a. These results suggest that up-regulation of CGRP and TrkB in bladder afferent neurons may play a role in colon-to-bladder cross-sensitization following colitis.
visceral inflammation; CGRP; neurotrophins; primary afferent neuron; convergence; cross-sensitization
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of urinary bladder inflammation on bladder function in a rat chemical cystitis model. We also histologically confirmed the effects of inflammation in the detrusor on chronically inflamed bladder in rats.
Materials and Methods
A total of 13 female Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this study. In seven rats, intravesical instillation of HCl induced chemical cystitis, and the other rats with intravesical instillation of saline were used as the sham. After 2 weeks, cystometrograms were obtained with additional intraabdominal pressure measurements in all unanesthetized, unrestrained rats in metabolic cages. The rats were killed just after cystometry. The bladders were removed and examined histologically for mast cells and inflammatory changes.
The rats with acute injury by HCl showed no differences in pressure parameters, including basal pressure, threshold pressure, and maximum bladder pressure, compared with the sham rats. They showed significantly increased bladder capacity, micturition volume, residual volume, and micturition interval compared with the sham group. They also showed an increased frequency of detrusor overactivity compared with the sham group. The percent of detrusor overactivity was 56.3% among the total intravesical pressure rises above 2 cmH2O. The histological findings of the rats with acute injury by HCl were consistent with chemical cystitis.
Overlapping patterns of lower urinary tract symptoms and pelvic pain are common disease characteristics among interstitial cystitis patients. The situation in an animal model of interstitial cystitis is similar, as observed in this study by the histologic and awake cystometric examinations. However, the interstitial cystitis model showed detrusor overactivity during the filling phase without a decrease in bladder capacity and micturition intervals, which differs from the characteristics of overactive bladder patients.
Cystitis, interstitial; Urinary bladder; Cystometry; Rat
We assessed the effect of ovariectomy and estrogen replacement on nociceptive responses to bladder distention in a rat model.
Materials and Methods
Female Sprague-Dawley rats (Harlan™) underwent ovariectomy or sham surgery. Visceromotor responses (abdominal contractions) to bladder distention were determined 3 to 4 weeks later under isoflurane anesthesia. In rat subsets estrogen was chronically replaced with a subcutaneous estrogen pellet vs a placebo pellet or acutely replaced by subcutaneous injection 24 hours before testing. Effects of estrogen withdrawal were examined in another group of rats by implanting a pellet and explanting the pellet 24 hours before testing. Uterine weight was measured to assess the estrogen dose.
Visceromotor responses to bladder distention were significantly less vigorous in ovariectomized rats vs controls. Acute estrogen replacement increased visceromotor responses in these rats but chronic estrogen replacement did not. Sudden chronic estrogen withdrawal resulted in increased visceromotor responses. Uterine weight was consistent with the physiological estrogen dose.
Estrogen alone was not sufficient to produce increased nociceptive responses but an acute decrease in estrogen resulted in increased visceromotor responses. These data suggest that the pronociceptive effects of estrogen may be due to a mismatch between peripheral vs central and/or genomic vs nongenomic effects of the hormone, which occur during rapidly decreasing estrogen levels.
estrogens; ovary; pain; ovariectomy; rats; Sprague-Dawley
Exogenous NGF or saline was delivered to the detrusor smooth muscle of female rats for a two-week period using osmotic mini-pumps. We then determined: (1) bladder function using conscious cystometry; (2) organization of micturition reflexes using Fos protein expression in lumbosacral (L5-S1) spinal cord neurons; (3) calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-immunoreactivity (IR) in lumbosacral spinal cord segments.
An osmotic pump infused 0.9% NaCl (n = 6) or NGF (n = 6)(2.5 μg/μl solution; 0.5 μl/hr) for two weeks into the bladder wall. NGF bladder content was determined by enzyme-linked immunoassays. Bladder function was assessed with conscious cystometry. Immunohistochemical and imaging techniques were used to determine the distribution of Fos-IR cells and CGRP expression in the L5-S1 spinal cord in saline and NGF-treated rats two hours after intravesical saline distention. Fos expression and CGRP-IR in NGF-treated rats with bladder distention was compared to that observed in cyclophosphamide (CYP; 75 mg/kg; i.p.) treated rats with bladder distention.
Two-week infusion of NGF into the bladder wall increased bladder weight, reduced bladder capacity (60%), reduced the intercontraction interval (60%) and increased the amplitude of non-voiding contractions. NGF treatment and intravesical saline distention (2 hr) increased expression of Fos protein in L6-S1 spinal cord and altered the distribution pattern of Fos-IR cells. CGRP-IR in the lumbosacral spinal cord was also increased after NGF treatment.
These data suggest that NGF infusion into the bladder wall induces bladder overactivity, can reveal a "nociceptive" Fos expression pattern in the spinal cord in response to a non-noxious bladder stimulus and increases CGRP-IR in the lumbosacral spinal cord.
Replacement of the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) layer with intravesically-administered GAGs is an effective therapy for interstitial cystitis in at least some patients. Intravesically-administered chondroitin sulfate was previously shown to bind to and restore the impermeability of surface-damaged (“leaky”) urothelium to small ions. This study investigated whether a physiologic effect of “GAG replenishment therapy” altered recruitment of inflammatory cells in an acute bladder damage model.
Rat bladders were damaged with 10mM HCl. Negative control bladders were treated with PBS. On the following day, the animal bladders were treated with 20mg/mL chondroitin sulfate in PBS, while the negative and positive controls were treated with PBS alone. Two and four days after treatment with chondroitin sulfate, animals were euthanized, and sections of their bladders were analyzed by Toluidine Blue staining for mast cells immunohistochemical labeling using antibodies against CD-45 for lymphocytes, and myeloperoxidase for neutrophils.
Chondroitin sulfate treatment statistically significantly reduced recruitment of inflammatory cells including neutrophils and mast cells to the suburothelial space but did not alter recruitment of CD-45-positive lymphocytes.
For the first time we demonstrate that intravesical GAG replenishment therapy also produces a physiological effect of decreasing recruitment of inflammatory cells in an acute model of damaged bladder. These findings support use of intravesically administered GAG for bladder disorders that result from a loss of impermeability, including interstitial, radiation and chemical cystitis, and possibly others as well.
Interstitial Cystitis; Inflammation; Glycosaminoglycans; Chondroitin Sulfate
The short reproductive cycle length observed in rodents, called the estrous cycle, makes them an ideal animal model for investigation of changes that occur during the reproductive cycle. Most of the data in the literature about the estrous cycle is obtained from rat because they are easily manipulated and exhibit a clear and well defined estrous cycle. However, the increased number of experiments using knockout mice requires identification of their estrous cycle as well, since (in)fertility issues may arise. In mice, like rats, the identification of the stage of estrous cycle is based on the proportion of cells types observed in the vaginal secretion. The aim of this unit is to provide guidelines for quickly and accurately determining estrous cycle phases in mice.
Estrous cycle; mouse; vaginal smears; wet vaginal
To determine (i) the presence of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) in the urinary bladder; (ii) whether or not endogenous fatty acid ethanolamides are synthesized by the bladder; (iii) the effects of FAAH inhibition on referred hyperalgesia associated with acute bladder inflammation in rats.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting were performed to detect FAAH in the bladder. Acrolein (1 mM, 400 µL) was instilled into bladders of female Wistar rats to induce cystitis. Referred mechanical hyperalgesia was assessed by application of Von Frey monofilaments to the hind paws. Animals were killed 4, 24, 48 and 72 h after acrolein instillation, and the fatty acid ethanolamide content of bladders was measured using isotope-dilution liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Other rats were treated with the FAAH inhibitor URB597 (0.3 mg/kg, i.p.) after the induction of cystitis, and the mechanical sensitivity of the hind paws was determined.
Immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting showed the presence of FAAH in the bladder, with greatest abundance in the urothelium. Acrolein-induced cystitis increased fatty acid ethanolamide content (including anandamide) in the bladder in a time-dependent manner. Inhibition of FAAH diminished referred hyperalgesia associated with acute bladder inflammation.
The results obtained in the present study indicate that (i) FAAH is present in the urinary bladder; (ii) fatty acid ethanolamides are increased during bladder inflammation; (iii) inhibition of FAAH could be an effective therapeutic approach for the treatment of bladder pain. These results raise the possibility that inhibitors of enzymes responsible for metabolism of fatty acid ethanolamides could inhibit pain associated with bladder inflammation.
cystitis; bladder; fatty acid amide hydrolase; fatty acid ethanolamide; endocannabinoid
Cystitis causes considerable neuronal plasticity in the primary afferent pathways. The molecular mechanism and signal transduction underlying cross talk between the inflamed urinary bladder and sensory sensitization has not been investigated.
In a rat cystitis model induced by cyclophosphamide (CYP) for 48 h, the mRNA and protein levels of the excitatory neurotransmitter calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) are increased in the L6 dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in response to bladder inflammation. Cystitis-induced CGRP expression in L6 DRG is triggered by endogenous nerve growth factor (NGF) because neutralization of NGF with a specific NGF antibody reverses CGRP up-regulation during cystitis. CGRP expression in the L6 DRG neurons is also enhanced by retrograde NGF signaling when NGF is applied to the nerve terminals of the ganglion-nerve two-compartmented preparation. Characterization of the signaling pathways in cystitis- or NGF-induced CGRP expression reveals that the activation (phosphorylation) of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK)5 but not Akt is involved. In L6 DRG during cystitis, CGRP is co-localized with phospho-ERK5 but not phospho-Akt. NGF-evoked CGRP up-regulation is also blocked by inhibition of the MEK/ERK pathway with specific MEK inhibitors U0126 and PD98059, but not by inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway with inhibitor LY294002. Further examination shows that cystitis-induced cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB) activity is expressed in CGRP bladder afferent neurons and is co-localized with phospho-ERK5 but not phospho-Akt. Blockade of NGF action in vivo reduces the number of DRG neurons co-expressing CGRP and phospho-CREB, and reverses cystitis-induced increases in micturition frequency.
A specific pathway involving NGF-ERK5-CREB axis plays an essential role in cystitis-induced sensory activation.
ERK5; Akt; NGF; CGRP; DRG
Cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) are G-protein coupled receptors that are expressed throughout the body. Cannabinoid receptor are expressed in the urinary bladder and may affect bladder function. The purpose of this study was twofold: to confirm the presence of cannabinoid receptors in the bladder, the L6/ S1 spinal cord, and dorsal root ganglia (DRG), and to determine the effects of acute and chronic bladder inflammation on expression of cannabinoid receptors. Acute or chronic bladder inflammation was induced in rats by intravesical administration of acrolein. Abundance of CB1 and CB2 protein and their respective mRNA was determined using immunoblotting and quantitative real-time PCR, respectively. We confirmed the presence of CB1 and CB2 receptor protein and mRNA in bladder, L6-S spinal cord, and DRG. Acute bladder inflammation induced increased expression of CB2, but not CB1, protein in the bladder detrusor. Chronic bladder inflammation increased expression of bladder CB2 protein and mRNA but not CB1 protein or mRNA. Expression of CB1 or CB2 in spinal cord or DRG was unaffected by acute or chronic bladder inflammation. CB1 and CB2 receptors are present in the bladder and its associated innervation, and CB2 receptors are up-regulated in bladder after acute or chronic inflammation. CB2 receptors may be a viable target for pharmacological treatment of bladder inflammation and associated pain.
Clinical research suggests that gender differences exist in cocaine dependence. Similarly, preclinical studies have shown that female rats exhibit higher response rates during cocaine self-administration, early extinction, and cocaine-primed reinstatement of drug-seeking. These effects are also estrous cycle dependent and inversely related to plasma progesterone, in that proestrus females (high progesterone) exhibit less cocaine-seeking, while estrous females (low progesterone) show the greatest cocaine-seeking. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that progesterone would attenuate cocaine-seeking behavior in intact, freely cycling animals. The role of the estrous cycle on cocaine-seeking behavior during early (first acquisition day) versus late (last maintenance day) cocaine self-administration was also examined. Female, Sprague-Dawley rats self-administered cocaine (0.5 mg/kg/infusion, IV) along a FR1 schedule, followed by daily extinction sessions in the absence of cocaine reinforcement. Once responding was extinguished, rats received an injection of cocaine (10 mg/kg, IP) immediately prior to reinstatement testing. Progesterone (2 mg/kg, SC) or vehicle was administered 20 and 2 h prior to the first day of extinction (early cocaine withdrawal) and the reinstatement trials. To determine estrous cycle phase, we assessed vaginal cytology prior to the first acquisition and last maintenance days of cocaine self-administration, the first day of extinction training, and each reinstatement test. During early and late cocaine self-administration, proestrus and estrous females exhibited the greatest levels of active lever responding, respectively. A significant increase in responding also occurred during cocaine-primed reinstatement for estrous versus nonestrous females, an effect that was selectively attenuated by progesterone. However, progesterone was not effective at reducing cocaine-primed reinstatement for females in other phases of the estrous cycle, nor was it effective at reducing cocaine-seeking during early withdrawal. Taken together, these results suggest that progesterone may be a useful therapeutic for preventing relapse in abstinent female cocaine users, especially when the likelihood of relapse is greatest.
progesterone; female; estrous cycle; cocaine; self-administration; reinstatement
Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) increases in sensory neurons after inflammation and plays an important role in abnormal pain responses, but how this neuropeptide is regulated is not well understood. Both activin A and Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) increase in skin after inflammation and induce CGRP in neurons in vivo and in vitro. This study was designed to understand how neurons integrate these two signals to regulate the neuropeptide important for inflammatory pain. In adult dorsal root ganglion neurons, NGF but not activin alone produced a dose-dependent increase in CGRP mRNA. When added together with NGF, activin synergistically increased CGRP mRNA, indicating that sensory neurons combine these signals. Studies were then designed to learn if that combination occurred at a common receptor or shared intracellular signals. Studies with Activin IB receptor or trkA inhibitors suggested that each ligand required its cognate receptor to stimulate the neuropeptide. Further, activin did not augment NGF-initiated intracellular MAPK signals but instead stimulated Smad phosphorylation, suggesting these ligands initiated parallel signals in the cytoplasm. Activin synergy required several NGF intracellular signals to be present. Because activin did not further stimulate, but did require NGF intracellular signals, it appears that activin and NGF converge not in receptor or cytoplasmic signals, but in transcriptional mechanisms to regulate CGRP in sensory neurons after inflammation.
inflammation; neuropeptides; ERK; Smad
In an earlier study, we reported that daily fluoxetine treatment (10 mg/kg/day) rapidly disrupted estrous cyclicity and sexual receptivity in adult, regularly cycling Fischer rats. The current study was designed to investigate if comparable fluoxetine treatment would similarly affect intact, regularly cycling Sprague Dawley rats. In the first experiment, fluoxetine was injected for 24 days. After 11–14 days of daily fluoxetine treatment, 40% of the rats showed a transient disturbance of the estrous cycle with elimination of sexual receptivity. In these affected rats, reduced sexual receptivity generally preceded disruption of vaginal cyclicity. In a second experiment, a shorter exposure was used to attempt to dissociate effects of fluoxetine on behavior and estrous cyclicity. Nine days of fluoxetine treatment eliminated sexual receptivity and proceptivity (hops/darts) in 40% and 46%, respectively, of rats without altering the estrous cycle. Female rats then received a 10th fluoxetine injection 30 min prior to assessment of sexual motivation (measured with the male preference paradigm). There was no effect of fluoxetine on male preference, but fluoxetine significantly reduced the number of crossings and seconds of grooming during preference testing. Therefore, effects of fluoxetine on estrous cyclicity and behavior of Sprague Dawley female rats were smaller and required longer to develop than previously reported in Fischer female rats. These findings reinforce a probable relationship between fluoxetine’s effect on sexual activity and neuroendocrine disturbances and illustrate the importance of strain selection in attempting to model human disease.
SSRI; sexual motivation; lordosis; rat strain; food intake; body weight
Bladder inflammation resulting from intravesical administration of zymosan significantly enhances the visceromotor reflex (VMR) evoked by urinary bladder distension (UBD). The present study examined whether intrathecal (i.t.) administration of receptor antagonists to either noreprinephrine (NE) or serotonin (5-HT) altered this enhancement effect. I.t. administration of the non-specific 5-HT receptor antagonist methysergide (30 μg), the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist ondansetron, or the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist WAY 100635 eliminated the enhancement effect produced by intravesical zymosan and also tended to reduce EMG responses to UBD in non-inflamed rats. I.t. administration of either the non-specific NE receptor antagonist phentolamine (30 μg) or the α1 antagonist WB4101 also eliminated the enhancement effect, whereas i.t. administration of the α2 antagonist yohimbine failed to significantly affect the enhancement effect. The effects of phentolamine and methysergide were not mediated by changes in bladder compliance. This is the first study to demonstrate that bladder hypersensitivity resulting from bladder inflammation is partly mediated by 5-HT and NE facilitatory effects. Based on these and previous findings we conclude that the net nociceptive response to bladder distension under conditions of bladder inflammation represents a complex interaction of facilitatory influences of spinal 5-HT and NE, and inhibitory influences of spinal opioids.
bladder; serotonin; norepinephrine; visceromotor reflex; pain; facilitation
Nerve growth factor over expression in the bladder has a role in overactive bladder symptoms via the mediation of functional changes in bladder afferent pathways. We studied whether blocking nerve growth factor over expression in bladder urothelium by a sequence specific gene silencing mechanism would suppress bladder overactivity and chemokine expression induced by acetic acid.
Materials and Methods
Female Sprague-Dawley® rats anesthetized with isoflurane were instilled with 0.5 ml saline, scrambled or TYE™ 563 labeled antisense oligonucleotide targeting nerve growth factor (12 μM) alone or complexed with cationic liposomes for 30 minutes. The efficacy of nerve growth factor antisense treatments for acetic acid induced bladder overactivity was assessed by cystometry. Bladder nerve growth factor expression levels and cellular distribution were quantified by immunofluorescence staining and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Effects on bladder chemokine expression were measured by Luminex® xMAP® analysis.
Liposomes were needed for bladder uptake of oligonucleotide, as seen by the absence of bright red TYE 563 fluorescence in rats instilled with oligonucleotide alone. At 24 hours after liposome-oligonucleotide treatment baseline bladder activity during saline infusion was indistinct in the sham and antisense treated groups with a mean ± SEM intercontraction interval of 348 ± 55 and 390 ± 120 seconds, respectively. Acetic acid induced bladder overactivity was shown by a decrease in the intercontraction interval to a mean of 33.2% ± 4.0% of baseline in sham treated rats. However, the reduction was blunted to a mean of 75.8% ± 3.4% of baseline in rats treated with liposomal antisense oligonucleotide (p <0.05). Acetic acid induced increased nerve growth factor in the urothelium of sham treated rats, which was decreased by antisense treatment, as shown by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and reduced nerve growth factor immunoreactivity in the urothelium. Increased nerve growth factor in bladder tissue was associated with sICAM-1, sE-selectin, CXCL-10 and 1, leptin, MCP-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor over expression, which was significantly decreased by nerve growth factor antisense treatment (p <0.01).
Acetic acid induced bladder overactivity is associated with nerve growth factor over expression in the urothelium and with chemokine up-regulation. Treatment with liposomal antisense suppresses bladder overactivity, and nerve growth factor and chemokine expression. Local suppression of nerve growth factor in the bladder could be an attractive approach for overactive bladder. It would avoid the systemic side effects that may be associated with nonspecific blockade of nerve growth factor expression.
urinary bladder; overactive; nerve growth factor; urothelium; chemokines; liposomes
Social recognition memory underlies many forms of rodent interaction and can be easily tested in the laboratory. Sex differences in aspects of this memory have been reported among young adults, and some studies indicate an age-related decline among male rats. In contrast, neither the impact of natural fluctuations in ovarian hormones nor the performance of aged female rats on social recognition memory has been previously evaluated. In experiments 1 and 2, the social recognition memory of young adult female Long-Evans rats (age 3-5 mos.) was compared during proestrus and estrus, and performance was found to be stable across estrous cycle phases. In experiment 3, the social recognition memory of young adults as compared to aged (16.5-19.5 mos.) rats was tested using the social discrimination procedure, following delays of 15, 45, 90 or 120 minutes. The estropausal status of aged female rats was tracked during the experiment but was not found to influence memory ability. Males of both ages investigated juveniles (both novel and familiar) more than did females, although despite this difference, both sexes demonstrated robust memory. Interestingly, only young adult females were capable of demonstrating memory following the longest delay. Collectively, our findings indicate that the pattern of age-related changes in social recognition memory is subtle and that aging does not greatly alter the behavioral sex differences observed among young adults.
social discrimination; estrous cycle; estropause; sex differences
A new animal model that can evaluate bladder function and nociceptive behavior concurrently was developed using freely moving, non-catheterized conscious rats to assess nociceptive behavior responses induced by intravesical instillation of RTx and its relationship with bladder dysfunction.
Materials and Methods
In female SD rats, RTx (0, 0.3 and 3μM) was instilled via a catheter temporarily inserted into the bladder through the urethra. Then, after removing the catheter, the incidence of nociceptive behavior (lower abdominal licking and freezing) was scored. Voided urine was collected continuously for the measurement of bladder capacity. In some animals, the pudendal nerves were transected bilaterally (PNT rats) in order to eliminate activation of urethral afferents by RTx.
Intravesical instillation of RTx induced decreased bladder capacity and increased nociceptive behaviors such as licking and freezing, which were blocked by BCTC, a TRPV1 antagonist. In PNT rats, the early phase of RTx-induced licking was decreased without affecting the RTx-induced reduction in bladder capacity and late-phase licking behavior, and RTx-induced late-phase licking in the water-unloaded group was observed to a lesser extent compared with the water-loaded diuresis group.
The intravesical instillation of RTx, which decreases bladder capacity, acts by at least three distinct mechanisms to induce licking behavior; (1) the immediate response mediated by activation of urethral afferents in the pudendal nerve, (2) a late occurring response evoked by direct stimulation of C-fiber afferents in the bladder and (3) gradual facilitation of the response elicited by bladder wall distension induced by rapid bladder filling.
rat; nociceptive behavior; urinary frequency; resiniferatoxin
Pyroglutamylated arginine-phenylalanineamide peptide (QRFP) is a neuropeptide involved in feeding behavior. Central administration of QRFP selectively increases the intake of a high fat diet in male rats. QRFP administration also stimulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis via gonadotrophin-releasing hormone in male and female rats. Prepro-QRFP mRNA is expressed in localized regions of the mediobasal hypothalamus which are abundant in neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and receptor systems important for food intake regulation and reproductive behaviors. The current experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of centrally administered QRFP-26 on the intake of a high fat diet (HFD, 60% kcal from fat) in female rats and to investigate alterations in hypothalamic prepro-QRFP and its receptors, GPR130a and GPR103b, mRNA levels over the estrous cycle. In Experiment 1, female rats were administered QRFP-26 (intracerebroventricular; 0.3nmol, 0.5nmol, 1.0nmol) in rats consuming either a HFD or a low fat diet. All doses of QRFP-26 selectively increased the intake of the HFD in female rats. These data suggest that QRFP-26 regulates the intake of energy dense foods in female rats, which is similar to previous findings in male rats. In Experiment 2, hypothalamic levels of prepro-QRFP mRNA and its receptors were assessed during diestrus, proestrus, or estrus. The level of prepro-QRFP mRNA in the ventromedial/arcuate nucleus (VMH/ARC) of the hypothalamus was increased during proestrus, which suggests that endogenous estrogen levels regulate QRFP expression in the VMH/ARC. These data suggest that QRFP may play a role in coordinating feeding behaviors with reproductive function when energy demand is increased.
prepro-QRFP mRNA; Hypothalamus; high fat diet; Estrous cycle; 26RFa