Ion channel and receptor mechanisms of bladder afferent nerve sensitivity.Auton Neurosci. 2010 Feb 16; 153(1-2):26-32.AN
Sensory nerves of the urinary bladder consist of small diameter A(delta) and C fibers running in the hypogastic and pelvic nerves. Neuroanatomical studies have revealed a complex neuronal network within the bladder wall. Electrophysiological recordings in vitro and in vivo have revealed several distinct classes of afferent fibers that may signal a wide range of bladder stimulations including physiological bladder filling, noxious distension, cold, chemical irritation and inflammation. The exact mechanisms that underline mechanosensory transduction in bladder afferent terminals remain ambiguous; however, a wide range of ion channels (e.g., TTX-resistant Na(+) channels, Kv channels and hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated cation channels) and receptors (e.g., TRPV1, TRPM8, TRPA1, P2X(2/3), etc) have been identified at bladder afferent terminals and implicated in the generation and modulation of afferent signals. Experimental investigations have revealed that expression and/or function of these ion channels and receptors may be altered in animal models and patients with overactive and painful bladder disorders. Some of these ion channels and receptors may be potential therapeutic targets for bladder diseases.