Sprouting of bladder nerves into cystoplastic cecal segment in the rat.

Hans Frederiksen, Thomas Davidsson, Wiking Månsson, Bengt Uvelius

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Incorporation of bowel into the bladder (enterocystoplasty) has been widely used to increase bladder capacity. It has been reported by others that the response of smooth muscle from the cystoplastic segment of the intestine shifts from that of the intestine (relaxation to α-agonists and ATP) to that of the bladder (contraction to α-agonists and ATP). This suggests a functional integration of the intestinal muscle into the bladder; the mechanisms are unknown. The aims of the present study were (1) to elucidate if there are signs of bladder nerves sprouting across the anastomosis into the intestinal segment, and (2) to study what happens with the intrinsic innervation of the intestinal segment. As a model, we used cecocystoplasty in rats. The bladder was opened and a patch of cecum with intact vascular supply was anastomosed to the bladder. After two to 11 months the rats were sacrificed and the bladders mounted as wholemounts and stained for acetylcholinesterase-containing nerves, or embedded in paraffin for histology. A pronounced degeneration of the myenteric plexus was found in the cecal segments. In some areas, this had proceeded to the extent that the ganglia were isolated ovoid lumps of cells with no apparent connection to other ganglia. Areas lacking ganglia and nerve trunks but still with muscle could be found in all specimens. Abundant axon bundles were demonstrated sprouting from the cut bladder nerves close to the anastomosis. The bundles spread out in a fan-like pattern or were organized as fewer thicker nerves. There were many nerve bundles entering the cecal segment where they branched and the diameter decreased till they no longer became visible. Some nerves reached surviving lumps of myenteric ganglion cells. The results show that the bladder nerves sprout into the anastomosed cecal segment. It is reasonable to assume that these nerves are responsible for the changes in receptor pharmacological properties of the cecal smooth muscle towards that of bladder muscle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-482
JournalUrological Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Urology and Nephrology


  • Urinary bladder
  • Enterocystoplasty
  • Cecocystoplasty
  • Innervation
  • Nerve growth
  • Rat


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