Renal Physiology

Expression and function of CXCL12/CXCR4 in rat urinary bladder with cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis

Lauren Arms, Beatrice M. Girard, Margaret A. Vizzard


Chemokines, otherwise known as chemotactic cytokines, are proinflammatory mediators of the immune response and have been implicated in altered sensory processing, hyperalgesia, and central sensitization following tissue injury or inflammation. To address the role of CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling in normal micturition and inflammation-induced bladder hyperreflexia, bladder inflammation in adult female Wistar rats (175–250 g) was induced by injecting cyclophosphamide (CYP) intraperitoneally at acute (150 mg/kg; 4 h), intermediate (150 mg/kg; 48 h), and chronic (75 mg/kg; every 3rd day for 10 days) time points. CXCL12, and its receptor, CXCR4, were examined in the whole urinary bladder of control and CYP-treated rats using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR), and immunostaining techniques. ELISAs, qRT-PCR, and immunostaining experiments revealed a significant (P ≤ 0.01) increase in CXCL12 and CXCR4 expression in the whole urinary bladder, and particularly in the urothelium, with CYP treatment. The functional role of CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling in micturition was evaluated using conscious cystometry with continuous instillation of saline and CXCR4 receptor antagonist (AMD-3100; 5 μM) administration in control and CYP (48 h)-treated rats. Receptor blockade of CXCR4 using AMD-3100 increased bladder capacity in control (no CYP) rats and reduced CYP-induced bladder hyperexcitability as demonstrated by significant (P ≤ 0.01) increases in intercontraction interval, bladder capacity, and void volume. These results suggest a role for CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling in both normal micturition and with bladder hyperreflexia following bladder inflammation.

  • urothelium
  • chemokines
  • cystometry
  • AMD-3100
  • bladder hyperreflexia
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