Original Publication Date
DOI of Original Publication
Date of Submission
Background Cystitis causes considerable neuronal plasticity in the primary afferent pathways. The molecular mechanism and signal transduction underlying cross talk between the inflamed urinary bladder and sensory sensitization has not been investigated.
Results In a rat cystitis model induced by cyclophosphamide (CYP) for 48 h, the mRNA and protein levels of the excitatory neurotransmitter calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) are increased in the L6 dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in response to bladder inflammation. Cystitis-induced CGRP expression in L6 DRG is triggered by endogenous nerve growth factor (NGF) because neutralization of NGF with a specific NGF antibody reverses CGRP up-regulation during cystitis. CGRP expression in the L6 DRG neurons is also enhanced by retrograde NGF signaling when NGF is applied to the nerve terminals of the ganglion-nerve two-compartmented preparation. Characterization of the signaling pathways in cystitis- or NGF-induced CGRP expression reveals that the activation (phosphorylation) of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK)5 but not Akt is involved. In L6 DRG during cystitis, CGRP is co-localized with phospho-ERK5 but not phospho-Akt. NGF-evoked CGRP up-regulation is also blocked by inhibition of the MEK/ERK pathway with specific MEK inhibitors U0126 and PD98059, but not by inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway with inhibitor LY294002. Further examination shows that cystitis-induced cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB) activity is expressed in CGRP bladder afferent neurons and is co-localized with phospho-ERK5 but not phospho-Akt. Blockade of NGF action in vivo reduces the number of DRG neurons co-expressing CGRP and phospho-CREB, and reverses cystitis-induced increases in micturition frequency.
Conclusions A specific pathway involving NGF-ERK5-CREB axis plays an essential role in cystitis-induced sensory activation.
© 2012 Yu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Is Part Of
VCU Physiology and Biophysics Publications