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Social stress causes profound urinary bladder dysfunction in children that often continues into adulthood. We discovered that the intensity and duration of social stress influences whether bladder dysfunction presents as overactivity or underactivity. The transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1) channel is integral in causing stress-induced bladder overactivity by increasing bladder sensory outflow, but little is known about the development of stress-induced bladder underactivity. We sought to determine if TRPV1 channels are involved in bladder underactivity caused by stress. Voiding function, sensory nerve activity, and bladder wall remodeling were assessed in C57Bl/6 and TRPV1 knockout mice exposed to intensified social stress, using conscious cystometry, ex vivo afferent nerve recordings, and histology. Intensified social stress increased void volume, intermicturition interval, bladder volume and bladder wall collagen content in C57Bl/6 mice, indicative of bladder wall remodeling and underactive bladder. However, afferent nerve activity was unchanged, and unaffected by the TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine. Interestingly, all indices of bladder function were unchanged in TRPV1 knockout mice in response to social stress, even though corticotrophin releasing hormone expression in Barrington's Nucleus still increased. These results suggest that TRPV1 channels in the periphery are a linchpin in the development of stress-induced bladder dysfunction, both with regard to increased sensory outflow that leads to overactive bladder, and bladder wall decompensation that leads to underactive bladder. TRPV1 channels represent an intriguing target to prevent the development of stress-induced bladder dysfunction in children.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: American journal of physiology. Renal physiology
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