The role of desmin in active force transmission and maintenance of structure during growth of urinary bladder.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The role of the intermediate filament protein desmin in hypertrophy of smooth muscle was examined in desmin deficient mice (Des -/-). A partial obstruction of the urethra was created and after 9-19 days bladder weight increased about 3-fold in both Des -/- and wild type (Des +/+) animals. Bladder growth was associated with synthesis of actin and myosin. In the hypertrophic Des +/+ bladder the relative content of desmin increased. In Des -/- mice desmin was absent. No alterations in the amount of vimentin were observed. Although Des -/- obstructed bladders were capable of growth they had structural changes with partial disruption of the wall. Des-/- bladders had slightly lower passive stress and significantly lower active stress compared to Des+/+. Des-/- preparations had lower shortening velocity. During hypertrophy these structural and mechanical alterations in the Des-/- urinary bladder became more pronounced. In conclusion, desmin in the bladder smooth muscle is not needed for growth but has a role in active force transmission and maintenance of wall structure. Key words: smooth muscle, intermediate filaments, desmin, transgenic.


  • Rolf Sjuve Scott
  • Zhenlin Li
  • Denise Paulin
  • Bengt Uvelius
  • J Victor Small
  • Anders Arner
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Urology and Nephrology
  • Physiology


  • intermediate filaments, smooth muscle, hypertrophy, transgenic mice
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C324-C331
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch