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1.  Pain during ice water test distinguishes clinical bladder hypersensitivity from overactivity disorders 
BMC Urology  2006;6:31.
The Bladder cooling reflex (BCR) i.e. uninhibited detrusor contractions evoked by intravesical instillation of cold saline, is a segmental reflex believed to be triggered by menthol sensitive cold receptors in the bladder wall, with the afferent signals transmitted by C fibres. The BCR is a neonatal reflex that becomes suppressed by descending signals from higher centres at approximately the time when the child gains full voluntary control of voiding. It re-emerges in adults with neurogenic detrusor overactivity as a consequence of loss of central descending inhibition, resulting from conditions such as spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis. We have recently shown an increase of nerve fibres expressing the cool and menthol receptor TRPM8 in both overactive (IDO) and painful bladder syndrome (PBS), but its functional significance is unknown. We have therefore studied the bladder cooling reflex and associated sensory symptoms in patients with PBS and overactivity disorders.
The BCR, elicited by ice water test (IWT) was performed in patients with painful bladder syndrome (PBS, n = 17), idiopathic detrusor overactivity (IDO, n = 22), neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO, n = 4) and stress urinary incontinence (as controls, n = 21). The IWT was performed by intravesical instillation of cold saline (0 – 4°C). A positive IWT was defined as presence of uninhibited detrusor contraction evoked by cold saline, associated with urgency or with fluid expulsion. Patients were asked to report and rate any pain and cold sensation during the test.
A positive IWT was observed in IDO (6/22, 27.3%) and NDO (4/4, 100%) patients, but was negative in all control and PBS patients. Thirteen (76.5%) PBS patients reported pain during the IWT, with significantly higher pain scores during ice water instillation compared to the baseline (P = 0.0002), or equivalent amount of bladder filling (100 mls) with saline at room temperature (P = 0.015). None of the control or overactive (NDO/IDO) patients reported any pain during the IWT.
The BCR in DO may reflect loss of central inhibition, which appears necessary to elicit this reflex; the pain elicited in PBS suggests afferent sensitisation, hence sensory symptoms are evoked but not reflex detrusor contractions. The ice water test may be a useful and simple marker for clinical trials in PBS, particularly for novel selective TRPM8 antagonists.
PMCID: PMC1766360  PMID: 17192176
2.  Cool and menthol receptor TRPM8 in human urinary bladder disorders and clinical correlations 
BMC Urology  2006;6:6.
The recent identification of the cold-menthol sensory receptor (TRPM8; CMR1), provides us with an opportunity to advance our understanding of its role in the pathophysiology of bladder dysfunction, and its potential mediation of the bladder cooling reflex. In this study, we report the distribution of the cool and menthol receptor TRPM8 in the urinary bladder in patients with overactive and painful bladder syndromes, and its relationship with clinical symptoms.
Bladder specimens obtained from patients with painful bladder syndrome (PBS, n = 16), idiopathic detrusor overactivity (IDO, n = 14), and asymptomatic microscopic hematuria (controls, n = 17), were immunostained using specific antibodies to TRPM8; nerve fibre and urothelial immunostaining were analysed using fibre counts and computerized image analysis respectively. The results of immunohistochemistry were compared between the groups and correlated with the Pain, Frequency and Urgency scores.
TRPM8-immunoreactive staining was observed in the urothelium and nerve fibres scattered in the suburothelium. The nerve fibre staining was seen in fine-calibre axons and thick (myelinated) fibres. There was marked increase of TRPM8-immunoreactive nerve fibres in IDO (P = 0.0249) and PBS (P < 0.0001) specimens, compared with controls. A significantly higher number of TRPM8-immunoreactive axons were also seen in the IDO (P = 0.0246) and PBS (P < 0.0001) groups. Urothelial TRPM8 and TRPM8-immunoreactive thick myelinated fibres appeared unchanged in IDO and PBS. The relative density of TRPM8-immunoreactive nerve fibres significantly correlated with the Frequency (r = 0.5487, P = 0.0004) and Pain (r = 0.6582, P < 0.0001) scores, but not Urgency score.
This study demonstrates increased TRPM8 in nerve fibres of overactive and painful bladders, and its relationship with clinical symptoms. TRPM8 may play a role in the symptomatology and pathophysiology of these disorders, and may provide an additional target for future overactive and painful bladder pharmacotherapy.
PMCID: PMC1420318  PMID: 16519806

Results 1-2 (2)