Functional evidence for sprouting or decentralized parasympathetic neurons in rat urinary bladder

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The pelvic nerve, carrying parasympathetic nerve fibres, distributes bilaterally in the rat urinary bladder. Preganglionic parasympathetic denervation (decentralization) on one side and postganglionic parasympathetic denervation on the other are followed by an initial decrease in acetylcholine forming capacity and in number of acetylcholinesterase positive nerves in the bladder. However, within a few weeks a marked recovery in acetylcholine synthesis and in number of nerves, based on collateral sprouting, occurs. In this study muscle strips of the rat urinary bladder exposed to the combined surgical procedure was studied. The strips were taken from "denervated" and "decentralized" halves of the bladder. Their contractile responses to methacholine and transmural electrical field stimulation were isometrically recorded in vitro. A supersensitivity to methacholine was found to have developed, of about the same degree, in the two halves 1 week postoperatively. In the denervated halves 4 weeks postoperatively, the supersensitivity was even more marked, whereas in the decentralized halves it tended to be less than after 1 week. The responses of denervated halves to electrical stimulation were reduced 1 week postoperatively. This was also the case for decentralized halves, although the reduction was not large enough to be significant. When examined 4 weeks postoperatively the responses, in particular in denervated halves, were enlarged compared to those 1 week postoperatively. The atropine-sensitive portion of the responses increased with time. Increases in contractile responses to electrical stimulation accompanied by a tendency to desensitization to methacholine are taken as functional evidence for outgrowth of decentralized parasympathetic neurones in the decentralized halves.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


  • J Ekström
  • Lars Malmberg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Urology and Nephrology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-15
JournalActa Physiologica Scandinavica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1984
Publication categoryResearch