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1.  Expression of apoptosis-regulating genes in the rat prostate following botulinum toxin type a injection 
BMC Urology  2012;12:1.
Onabotulinumtoxin A (OnabotA) injection has been investigated as a novel treatment for benign prostatic enlargement caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia. An OnabotA - induced volume reduction caused by sympathetic fibers impairment has been proposed as a potential mechanism of action. Our aim was to investigate the expression of apoptosis-regulating proteins in the rat prostate following OnabotA intraprostatic injection.
Adult Wistar rats were injected in the ventral lobes of the prostate with 10 U of OnabotA or saline. A set of OnabotA-injected animals was further treated with 0.5 mg/kg of phenylephrine (PHE) subcutaneously daily. All animals were sacrificed after 1 week and had their prostates harvested. Immunohistochemical staining was performed for Bax, Bcl-xL and caspase-3 proteins and visualized by the avidin-biotin method. The optical density of the glandular cells was also determined, with measurement of differences between average optical densities for each group.
Saline-treated animals showed intense epithelial staining for Bcl-xL and a faint labelling for both Bax and Caspase-3. OnabotA-treated rats showed a reduced epithelial staining of Bcl-xL and a consistently increased Bax and Caspase-3 staining when compared with saline-treated animals. PHE-treated animals showed a stronger Bcl-xL staining and reduced staining of both Bax and Caspase-3 when compared to the OnabotA group. Mean signal intensity measurements for each immunoreaction confirmed a significant decrease of the signal intensity for Bcl-xL and a significant increase of the signal intensity for Bax and Caspase 3 in OnabotA-injected animals when compared with the control group. In OnabotA+PHE treated animals mean signal intensity for Bcl-xL, Bax and Caspase 3 immunoreactions was identical to that of the control animals.
These results support the hypothesis that OnabotA activates apoptotic pathways in the rat prostate through a mechanism that involves sympathetic outflow impairment.
PMCID: PMC3265407  PMID: 22216975
Botulinum toxin; prostate; apoptosis
2.  Intraprostatic Botulinum Toxin Type A injection in patients with benign prostatic enlargement: duration of the effect of a single treatment 
BMC Urology  2009;9:9.
Botulinum Toxin Type-A (BoNT/A) intraprostatic injection can induce prostatic involution and improve LUTS and urinary flow in patients with Benign Prostatic Enlargement (BPE). However, the duration of these effects is unknown. The objective of this work was to determine the duration of prostate volume reduction after one single intraprostatic injection of 200U of Botulinum Toxin Type-A.
This is an extension of a 6 month study in which 21 frail elderly patients with refractory urinary retention and unfit for surgery were submitted to intraprostatic injection of BoNT/A-200U, by ultrasound guided transrectal approach. In spite of frail conditions, eleven patients could be followed during 18 months. Prostate volume, total serum PSA, maximal flow rate (Qmax), residual volume (PVR) and IPSS-QoL scores were determined at 1, 3, 6, 12 and 18 months post-treatment.
Mean prostate volume at baseline, 82 ± 16 ml progressively decreased from month one coming to 49 ± 9,5 ml (p = 0,003) at month six. From this moment on, prostate volume slowly recovered, becoming identical to baseline at 18 months (73 ± 16 ml, p = 0.03). Albeit non significant, serum PSA showed a 25% decrease from baseline to month 6. The 11 patients resumed spontaneous voiding at month one. Mean Qmax was 11,3 ± 1,7 ml/sec and remained unchanged during the follow-up period. PVR ranged from 55 ± 17 to 82 ± 20 ml and IPSS score from10 to 12 points.
Intraprostatic BoNT/A injection is safe and can reduce prostate volume for a period of 18 months. During this time a marked symptomatic improvement can be maintained.
PMCID: PMC2734751  PMID: 19682392
3.  Bladder sensory desensitization decreases urinary urgency 
BMC Urology  2007;7:9.
Bladder desensitization has been investigated as an alternative treatment for refractory detrusor overactivity. Most open and controlled clinical trials conducted with intravesical RTX showed that desensitization delays the appearance of involuntary detrusor contractions during bladder filling and decreases the number of episodes of urgency incontinence.
Urgency is being recognised as the fundamental symptom of overactive bladder (OAB), a symptomatic complex which recent epidemiological studies have shown to affect more than 10% of the Western population. As anti-muscarinic drugs, the first line treatment for OAB, are far from being able to fully control urgency, the opportunity to test other therapeutic approaches is created. The present work was, therefore, designed as an exploratory investigation to evaluate the effect of bladder desensitization on urinary urgency.
Twenty-three OAB patients with refractory urgency entered, after given informed consent, a 30 days run-in period in which medications influencing the bladder function were interrupted. At the end of this period patients filled a seven-day voiding chart where they scored, using a 0–4 scale, the bladder sensations felt before each voiding. Then, patients were instilled with 100 ml of 10% ethanol in saline (vehicle solution) and 30 days later a second seven-day voiding chart was collected. Finally, patients were instilled with 100 ml of 50 nM RTX in 10% ethanol in saline. At 1 and 3 months additional voiding charts were collected.
At the end of the vehicle and 3 months period patients were asked to give their subjective impression about the outcome of the treatment and about the willingness to repeat the previous instillation.
At the end of the run-in period the mean number of episodes of urgency per week was 71 ± 12 (mean ± SEM). After vehicle instillation, the mean number of episodes of urgency was 56 ± 11, but only 4 patients (17%) considered that their urinary condition had improved enough to repeat the treatment. At 1 and 3 months after RTX the number of episodes of urgency decreased to 39 ± 9 (p = 0.002) and 37 ± 6 (p = 0.02), respectively (p indicates statistical differences against vehicle). The percentage of patients with subjective improvement after RTX and willing to repeat the instillation at a later occasion was 69%.
In OAB patients with refractory urgency bladder desensitization should be further investigated as an alternative to the standard management. Additionally, the specific effect of RTX on TRPV1 receptors suggests that urothelium and sub-urothelial C-fibers play an important role to the generation of urgency sensation.
PMCID: PMC1903357  PMID: 17561998

Results 1-3 (3)