Basic fibroblast growth factor is a candidate causative factor of detrusor overactivity in bladder outlet obstruction cases through up-regulation of the gap junction protein connexin 43. We addressed the transcriptional and behavioral implications of this axis.
Cx43 and Cx45 mRNA expression was assessed by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction in the bladder of a rat bladder outlet obstruction model and in cultured rat bladder smooth muscle cells with and without basic fibroblast growth factor treatment. Involvement of the extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2-activator protein-1 pathway was evaluated by immunofluorescence study and a promoter-reporter assay in bladder smooth muscle cells. The effect of basic fibroblast growth factor on micturition behavior was measured in unrestrained rats under a 12-hour light/dark cycle using a controlled release system from gelatin hydrogels fixed on the bladder. The expression of extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 and connexin 43 protein was assessed by Western blotting of rat bladder protein.
Cx43 but not Cx45 mRNA expression was increased in the bladder of the obstruction model and in bladder smooth muscle cells treated with basic fibroblast growth factor. The mitogen-activated and extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase inhibitor PD98059 blocked the stimulatory effect of basic fibroblast growth factor on connexin 43 protein expression and promoter activity, which was also decreased by mutation or deletion of an activator protein-1 cis-element of the connexin 43 promoter. In vivo application of basic fibroblast growth factor on the bladder increased urinary frequency during the latter half of the dark phase, ie the late active phase of rats (F = 5.1, 2-way ANOVA p <0.05). The expression of phospho-extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 and connexin 43 protein was increased in the bladder.
The extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2-activator protein-1-connexin 43 axis could be a potential therapeutic target for increased urinary frequency.
"Because there is emerging evidence that Panx1 is related to various pathophysiological conditions, such as seizure31, death of enteric neurons during colitis27, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis32 and others, and because Cx43 has been reported to have important roles in bladder function1718242933, we focused our study on these two gap junction genes, Panx1 and Cx43. When comparing Panx1 and Cx43 expression in the bladder mucosa and detrusor compartments, we found that Panx1 mRNA was mainly expressed in mucosa while Cx43 mRNA was found in both mucosa and detrusor (Supplementary Fig. S5). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bladder dysfunction is common in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) but little is known of its pathophysiology. We show that mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a MS model, have micturition dysfunction and altered expression of genes associated with bladder mechanosensory, transduction and signaling systems including pannexin 1 (Panx1) and Gja1 (encoding connexin43, referred to here as Cx43). EAE mice with Panx1 depletion (Panx1(-/-)) displayed similar neurological deficits but lesser micturition dysfunction compared to Panx1(+/+) EAE. Cx43 and IL-1β upregulation in Panx1(+/+) EAE bladder mucosa was not observed in Panx1(-/-) EAE. In urothelial cells, IL-1β stimulation increased Cx43 expression, dye-coupling, and p38 MAPK phosphorylation but not ERK1/2 phosphorylation. SB203580 (p38 MAPK inhibitor) prevented IL-1β-induced Cx43 upregulation. IL-1β also increased IL-1β, IL-1R-1, PANX1 and CASP1 expression. Mefloquine (Panx1 blocker) reduced these IL-1β responses. We propose that Panx1 signaling provides a positive feedback loop for inflammatory responses involved in bladder dysfunction in MS.
"Peripheral neuropathy ↑Cx26, ↑Cx32 perineurium Animal diabetic STZ rat studies  Wound healing ↓Cx43, ↓Cx26 epidermis Animal diabetic STZ rat studies   ↑Cx43 dermis, wound edge keratinocytes first 24 hours after injury ↑Cx43 wound edge keratinocytes Human studies  The in vivo effect of diabetes on the expression pattern of vascular Cxs within major large vessels is not fully understood . The effects of statins on connexin expression in the arterial wall have been observed by Sheu et al. , who observed reduced expression of Cx43 in diabetic rat aortic walls and an increase in Cx43 levels following simvastatin treatment. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell-to-cell interactions via gap junctional communication and connexon hemichannels are involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes. Gap junctions are highly specialized transmembrane structures that are formed by connexon hemichannels, which are further assembled from proteins called "connexins." In this paper, we discuss current knowledge about connexins in diabetes. We also discuss mechanisms of connexin influence and the role of individual connexins in various tissues and how these are affected in diabetes. Connexins may be a future target by both genetic and pharmacological approaches to develop treatments for the treatment of diabetes and its complications.
Cardiology Research and Practice 03/2012; 2012(1):496904. DOI:10.1155/2012/496904
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gap junctions are specialized cell-cell junctions that directly link the cytoplasm of neighboring cells. They mediate the direct transfer of metabolites and ions from one cell to another. Discoveries of human genetic disorders due to mutations in gap junction protein (connexin [Cx]) genes and experimental data on connexin knockout mice provide direct evidence that gap junctional intercellular communication is essential for tissue functions and organ development, and that its dysfunction causes diseases. Connexin-related signaling also involves extracellular signaling (hemichannels) and non-channel intracellular signaling. Thus far, 21 human genes and 20 mouse genes for connexins have been identified. Each connexin shows tissue- or cell-type-specific expression, and most organs and many cell types express more than one connexin. Connexin expression can be regulated at many of the steps in the pathway from DNA to RNA to protein. In recent years, it has become clear that epigenetic processes are also essentially involved in connexin gene expression. In this review, we summarize recent knowledge on regulation of connexin expression by transcription factors and epigenetic mechanisms including histone modifications, DNA methylation, and microRNA. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The communicating junctions, roles and dysfunctions (Pt II).
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