Intravesical Activation of the Cation Channel TRPV4 Improves Bladder Function in a Rat Model for Detrusor Underactivity.Eur Urol. 2018 09; 74(3):336-345.EU
Improvement of bladder emptying by modulating afferent nerve activity is an attractive therapeutic strategy for detrusor underactivity. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) is a sensory ion channel in urothelial cells that contribute to the detection of bladder filling.
To investigate the potential benefit of intravesical TRPV4 agonists in a pelvic nerve injury rat model for detrusor underactivity.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Female wild-type and Trpv4 knockout rats underwent sham surgery or bilateral pelvic nerve injury (bPNI). Four weeks later, rats underwent cystometry with infusion of the TRPV4 agonist GSK1016790A. Bladders were harvested for in vitro pharmacological studies, quantitative reverse polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry.
OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
Data are expressed as median ± interquartile range. Statistical comparisons were made using the Mann-Witney U test and Wilcoxon signed rank test as appropriate.
RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS
Rats with bPNI showed a phenotype characteristic of detrusor underactivity with lower-amplitude voiding contractions, decreased voiding frequency, and increased postvoid residual. Intravesical application of GSK1016790A increased voiding frequency and reduced postvoid residual in wild-type, but not Trpv4-/-, rats. In isolated bladder strips, GSK1016790A did not induce relevant contractions, indicating that the observed improvements in bladder function are the result of increased afferent signalling through TRPV4 activation, rather than a local effect on the detrusor. The altered urinary phenotype of Trpv4-/- mice was not apparent in the Trpv4-/- rat model, suggesting species-related functional variations. Our results are limited to the preclinical setting in rodents.
Intravesical activation of TRPV4 improves bladder dysfunction after bPNI by increasing afferent signalling.
We demonstrate that the sensory protein transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) can be targeted to improve bladder function in animals that have iatrogenic injury to the nerves innervating the bladder. Further research is required to determine whether these results can be translated to patients with an underactive bladder.