Early stages of in situ bladder regeneration in a rodent model

David Burmeister, Tamer Aboushwareb, Josh Tan, Kerry Link, Karl Erik Andersson, George Christ*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Surgical removal of ≈70% of the bladder (subtotal cystectomy [STC]) was used as a model system to gain insight into the normal regenerative process in adult mammals in vivo. Female F344 rats underwent STC, and at 2, 4, and 8 weeks post-STC, bladder regeneration was monitored via microcomputed tomography scans, urodynamic (bladder function studies) pharmacologic studies, and immunohistochemistry. Computed tomography imaging revealed a time-dependent increase in bladder size at 2, 4, and 8 weeks post-STC, which positively correlated with restoration of bladder function. Bladders emptied completely at all time points studied. The maximal contractile response to pharmacological activation and electrical field stimulation increased over time in isolated tissue strips from regenerating bladders, but remained lower at all time points compared with strips from age-matched control bladders. Immunostaining of the bladder wall of STC rats suggested a role for progenitor cells and cellular proliferation in the regenerative response. Immunostaining and the presence of electrical field stimulation-induced contractile responses verified innervation of the regenerated bladder. These initial studies establish the utility of the present model system for studying de novo tissue regeneration in vivo and may provide guidance with respect to optimization of intrinsic regenerative capacity for clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2541-2551
Number of pages11
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A.
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


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