[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The distribution of afferent axons in the bladder of rats was studied by means of immunohistochemistry for calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), in frozen sections and in wholemount preparations of mucosa and muscle coat. Synaptophysin-immunofluorescence was used for the general detection of all intramural axons. The afferent axons were distributed over four distinct targets: at the base of the epithelium, inside the epithelium, on blood vessels (both arteries and veins) and along muscle bundles. In the mucosa, all the afferent axons, except the perivascular ones, lay either inside the epithelium or in a subepithelial plexus very close to the basal surface of the epithelium. The plexus was thickest in the neck of the bladder and in the initial portion of the urethra, and it became progressively less dense in the adjacent regions; it did not extend beyond the equatorial region, and therefore the mucosa of the cranial region of the bladder had no afferent axons. Most of the axons in the subepithelial plexus were terminal axons and included conspicuous varicosities arranged in very long chains; branching points were numerous, usually at right angles and located at the level of a varicosity; some axons split and then rejoined, forming closed axonal loops. The afferent innervation of the musculature was more diffuse, and appeared uniform throughout the bladder. After unilateral surgical denervation (by excision of the pelvic ganglion 5-7 days earlier) areas of complete denervation were observed, but there were large areas where the innervation was only reduced. The results showed that there is a bilateral innervation of many regions of the mucosa and the musculature, including individual muscle bundles. A substantial number of fibres crossed the midline into the contralateral side of the bladder. CGRP-immunofluorescence in mucosal afferent axons is enhanced in the surviving axons 5 days after contralateral denervation, a change which is interpreted as an early sign of regeneration.
Journal of Neurocytology 04/1998; 27(3):141-55. DOI:10.1023/A:1006903507321 · 1.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously reported that 1 intracorporeal injection of 100 microg hSlo/pcDNA reversed the effect of aging on erectile function in a rat model in vivo for at least 2 months. We report our further investigations of the amplitude, duration and physiological relevance of this novel gene transfer approach.
A total of 191 retired breeder Sprague-Dawley rats were given a single intracavernous injection of phosphate buffered saline, 1,000 microg pcDNA, or 10, 100 or 1,000 microg pcDNA/hSlo. The animals were studied 1 to 6 months after injection. The intracorporeal pressure (ICP) response to cavernous nerve stimulation and immunostaining as well as hematoxylin and eosin staining were done to evaluate effector nerve integrity and tissue histology, respectively.
Gene transfer prevented an age related decrease in resting ICP and a physiologically relevant, significant effect on normalizing erection in vivo, as determined by submaximal (0.5 mA) and maximal (4.0 mA) cavernous nerve stimulation. The effects were observed 1 month after transfection and sustained for 6 months at the 100 and 1,000 microg doses of pcDNA/hSlo (p <0.026).
The physiological manifestations of gene transfer were detected as an amelioration of the age related decrease in resting ICP, and parallel increase in the magnitude of the cavernous nerve stimulated an ICP response to a level at which visible erections were again observed in this rat model of aging in vivo.
The Journal of Urology 07/2003; 170(1):285-90. DOI:10.1097/01.ju.0000063375.12512.6e · 4.47 Impact Factor
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