In animal models of partial urethral obstruction (PUO), altered smooth muscle function/ contractility may be linked to changes in molecules that regulate calcium signaling/sensitization. PUO was created in male rats, and urodynamic studies were conducted 2 and 6 wk post-PUO. Cystometric recordings were analyzed for the presence or absence of nonvoiding contractions [i.e., detrusor overactivity (DO)]. RT-PCR and Western blots were performed on a subpopulation of rats to study the relationship between the expression of RhoA, L-type Ca2+ channels, Rho kinase-1, Rho kinase-2, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate, ryanodine receptor, sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase 2 and protein kinase C (PKC)-potentiated phosphatase inhibitor of 17 kDa, and urodynamic findings in the same animal. Animals displayed DO at 2 (38%) and 6 wk (43%) post-PUO, increases were seen in in vivo pressures at 2 wk, and residual volume at 6 wk. Statistical analysis of RT-PCR and Western blot data at 2 wk, during the compensatory phase of detrusor hypertrophy, documented that expression of molecules that regulate calcium signaling and sensitization was consistently lower in obstructed rats without DO than those with DO or control rats. Among rats with DO at 2 wk, linear regression analysis revealed positive correlations between in vivo pressures and protein and mRNA expression of several regulatory molecules. At 6 wk, in the presence of overt signs of bladder decompensation, no clear or consistent alterations in expression of these same targets were observed at the protein level. These data extend prior work to suggest that molecular profiling of key regulatory molecules during the progression of PUO-mediated bladder dysfunction may shed new light on potential biomarkers and/or therapeutic targets.
- Calcium signaling