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Endogenous nitric oxide/cGMP signalling in the guinea pig bladder: Evidence for distinct populations of sub-urothelial interstitial cells

Lookup NU author(s): Professor James Gillespie


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We have examined structures that may operate by using nitric oxide (NO)/soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) signalling in the lamina propria of the guinea pig bladder. Cells on the luminal surface of the urothelium and sub-urothelial interstitial cells (SU-ICs) responded to NO with a rise in cGMP. The distribution of these different cells varied between the base, lateral wall and dome. In the base, two regions were identified: areas with sparse surface urothelial cells and areas with a complete covering. A layer of cGMP-positive (cGMP+) cells (up to 10 cells deep) was found in the base. cGMP +/SU-ICs were also observed in the lateral wall. However, here, the cGMP+ cells were confined to a layer of only 1-2 cells immediately below the basal urothelial layer (basal cGMP+/SU-ICs). Below these cGMP+/SU-ICs lay cells that had a similar structure but that showed little cGMP accumulation (deep cGMP-/SU-ICs). Both basal and deep SU-ICs expressed the β1 subunit of sGC and the cGMP-dependent protein kinase I (cGKI), suggesting that the deep SU-ICs can sense NO and signal via cGMP. By using BAY 41-2272, a sensor of endogenous NO production, NO-dependent cGMP synthesis was observed primarily in the basal SU-ICs. A third population of cGKI+/cGMP- cells was seen to lie immediately below the basal urothelial layer. These cells ("necklace" cells) were less numerous than SU-ICs and extended linking processes suggesting a network. The specific functions of these structures are not known but they may contribute to the emerging multiple roles of the urothelium associated with the generation of bladder sensation. © Springer-Verlag 2006.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gillespie JI, Markerink-Van Ittersum M, De Vente J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cell and Tissue Research

Year: 2006

Volume: 325

Issue: 2

Pages: 325-332

ISSN (print): 0302-766X

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0878

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00441-005-0146-4


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