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M-3 muscarinic receptor expression on suburothelial interstitial cells

Lookup NU author(s): Professor James Gillespie


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OBJECTIVE To identify the cells expressing the M-3 muscarinic receptor subtype in the lamina propria of the bladder. MATERIALS AND METHODS The bladders from five normal guinea pigs were isolated and fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde. Tissues sections (10 mu m) were then cut and stained with antibodies to the type 3 muscarinic receptor (M-3), the interstitial cell marker vimentin and the nonspecific nerve marker PGP 9.5. The specificity of the antibody to the M-3 receptor was established using the complementary blocking peptide and Western blot analysis of human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells transfected to express the M-3 receptor protein. RESULTS The M-3 antibody pre-incubated with its blocking peptide showed no immunohistochemical staining. Investigating this antibody using HEK cells transfected to express the M-3 receptor protein and control HEK cells showed a single band in the transfected cells and no band in the control cells. M-3 receptor immunoreactivity (M-3-IR) was detected primarily on a dense network of vimentin-positive (vim(+)) cells lying immediately below the urothelium, i.e. the suburothelial interstitial cells (Su-ICs). The M-3-IR was punctate and appeared to be located on the cell surface. The diffuse network of cells in the remaining regions of the lamina propria showed no M-3-IR. Few nerve fibres were associated with the M-3-IR Su-ICs. The M-3-IR Su-ICs were most numerous and prominent in the lateral wall. The number of M-3-IR/vim(+) cells diminished towards the bladder base and were absent in the bladder urethral junction. In the base and urethral junction there were vim(+) cells that were not M-3-IR. A population of umbrella cells in the lateral wall also showed weak punctate M-3-IR. CONCLUSIONS Using a well-characterized M-3 antibody, these results show for the first time that the M-3 muscarinic receptor in the lamina propria is located specifically on the Su-ICs. The physiological role of these cells is unknown and consequently the significance of what appears to be a cholinergic signalling system is unclear. Previously published data showed that these cells respond to nitric oxide and atrial natriuretic peptide with an increase in cGMP and possibly prostaglandin. All of these observations, taken together, suggest that the Su-ICs receive multiple inputs and that they must be part of a complex signalling system in this region of the bladder wall.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Grol S, Essers PBM, van Koeveringe GA, Martinez-Martinez P, de Vente J, Gillespie JI

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BJU International

Year: 2009

Volume: 104

Issue: 3

Pages: 398-405

ISSN (print): 1464-4096

ISSN (electronic): 1464-410X

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2009.08423.x


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