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This article is the author's final published version in the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, Volume 325, Issue 4, 1 October 2023, Pg. R344 - R358.

The published version is available at Copyright Copyright © 2023 The Authors.


Very little is known about the physiological role of nicotinic receptors in canine bladders, although functional nicotinic receptors have been reported in bladders of many species. Utilizing in vitro methods, we evaluated nicotinic receptors mediating bladder function in dogs: control (9 female and 11 male normal controls, 5 sham operated), Decentralized (9 females, decentralized 6–21 mo), and obturator-to-pelvic nerve transfer reinnervated (ObNT-Reinn; 9 females; decentralized 9–13 mo, then reinnervated with 8–12 mo recovery). Muscle strips were collected, mucosa-denuded, and mounted in muscle baths before incubation with neurotransmitter antagonists, and contractions to the nicotinic receptor agonist epibatidine were determined. Strip response to epibatidine, expressed as percent potassium chloride, was similar (∼35% in controls, 30% in Decentralized, and 24% in ObNT-Reinn). Differentially, epibatidine responses in Decentralized and ObNT-Reinn bladder strips were lower than controls after tetrodotoxin (TTX, a sodium channel blocker that inhibits axonal action potentials). Yet, in all groups, epibatidine-induced strip contractions were similarly inhibited by mecamylamine and hexamethonium (ganglionic nicotinic receptor antagonists), SR 16584 (α3β4 neuronal nicotinic receptor antagonist), atracurium and tubocurarine (neuromuscular nicotinic receptor antagonists), and atropine (muscarinic receptor antagonist), indicating that nicotinic receptors (particularly α3β4 subtypes), neuromuscular and muscarinic receptors play roles in bladder contractility. In control bladder strips, since tetrodotoxin did not inhibit epibatidine contractions, nicotinic receptors are likely located on nerve terminals. The tetrodotoxin inhibition of epibatidine-induced contractions in Decentralized and ObNT-Reinn suggests a relocation of nicotinic receptors from nerve terminals to more distant axonal sites, perhaps as a compensatory mechanism to recover bladder function.

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Frara-Figure-2022-10-01.pdf (1026 kB)
Supplemental Figs. S1–S11

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