The basal, intermediate, and superficial cell layers of the urothelium undergo rapid and complete recovery following acute injury; however, the effects of chronic injury on urothelial regeneration have not been well defined. To address this discrepancy, we employed a mouse model to explore urothelial changes in response to spinal cord injury (SCI), a condition characterized by life-long bladder dysfunction. One-day post SCI there was a focal loss of umbrella cells, which are large cells that populate the superficial cell layer and normally express uroplakins (UPKs) and KRT20, but not KRT5, KRT14, or TP63. In response to SCI, regions of urothelium devoid of umbrella cells were replaced with small superficial cells that lacked KRT20 expression and appeared to be derived in part from the underlying intermediate cell layer, including cells positive for KRT5 and TP63. We also observed KRT14-positive basal cells that extended thin cytoplasmic extensions, which terminated in the bladder lumen. Both KRT14-positive and KRT14-negative urothelial cells proliferated one-day post SCI, and by seven-days, cells in the underlying lamina propria, detrusor, and adventitia were also dividing. At 28-days post SCI, the urothelium appeared morphologically patent, and the number of proliferative cells decreased to baseline levels; however, patches of small superficial cells were detected that co-expressed UPKs, KRT5, KRT14, and TP63, but failed to express KRT20. Thus, unlike the rapid and complete restoration of the urothelium that occurs in response to acute injuries, regions of incompletely differentiated urothelium were observed even 28-days-post SCI.
- TP63 (p63)
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology