Transecting the hypogastric nerve to uncover the bladder-inhibitory pathways involved with saphenous nerve stimulation in anesthetized rats.Auton Neurosci. 2020 07; 226:102672.AN
Saphenous (SAFN) nerve stimulation was recently shown in anesthetized rats to elicit bladder-inhibitory responses in a frequency-dependent manner; however, the mechanism of action is unknown. The goal of this study was to investigate the potential role of the hypogastric nerve (HGN) in this inhibitory pathway by examining stimulation-evoked changes in bladder function under four different experimental conditions: (1) HGN intact, saline infusion (HGNi-s), (2) HGN transected, saline infusion (HGNt-s), (3) HGN intact, acetic acid (AA) infusion (HGNi-a), and (4) HGN transected, AA infusion (HGNt-a). Experiments were conducted in 33 urethane-anesthetized female rats, where continuous bladder infusion was provided through a suprapubic catheter. The experimental protocol involved two, 40-min stimulation trials in which electrical pulses were applied to the SAFN at a set frequency (10 Hz) and two different amplitudes (50 μA and 100 μA). In all experimental groups, SAFN stimulation resulted in complete suppression of bladder activity with an incidence rate of 25% to 50%. However, significant changes in the measured urodynamic changes (e.g., basal pressure, contraction amplitude, and inter-contraction interval) were found only in the HGNt-a animals. Our findings suggest that the HGN does not mediate the inhibitory effects of SAFN stimulation and that bladder inhibition is achieved through a different mechanism of action.