In the rabbit, both cholinergic and purinergic nerves mediate bladder contraction. Acetylcholine is the neurohumoral transmitter for the cholinergic nerves, and ATP is the neurohumoral transmitter for purinergic innervation. Beta-adrenergic stimulation mediates relaxation of the bladder. In the current study, we investigated the effects of atropine, isoproterenol and propranolol on the bladder contraction induced by intra-arterial administration of acetylcholine and ATP.Methods
Mature male New Zealand White rabbits were used in this study. A polyethylene catheter with an outer diameter of 0.043 inches was inserted through the rabbit's right femoral artery until it reached the lower abdominal aorta. An 8 F catheter was inserted through the urethral orifice into the bladder and secured by tying a 2-0 silk ligature around the bladder neck. The catheter was connected to an infusion pump and a pressure transducer by a 3-way valve. After 15 ml. of saline was infused into the bladder, an intra-arterial administration of acetylcholine and ATP was infused and the change of intravesical pressure was quantitated and recorded with a Grass model 7D polygraph. The procedure was repeated after a 5-minute pretreatment with atropine, isoproterenol or propranolol.Results
The results are summarized as follows: 1) Baseline intravesical pressure was not altered by pretreatment with atropine. Pretreatment with atropine shifted the dose-response curve of acetylcholine to the right and the maximal response was reduced by 9%, 49% and 77% respectively with pretreatment with atropine 10-8, 10-7 and 10-6 mole/kg. The dose-response curve of ATP was not significantly affected by pretreatment with atropine. 2) Baseline intravesical pressure was lowered by pretreatment with isoproterenol. Pretreatment with isoproterenol shifted both dose-response curves of acetylcholine and ATP rightward. The maximal response of acetylcholine was reduced by 10%, 26% and 37% respectively, and the maximal response of ATP was reduced by 6%, 31% and 43% respectively by pretreatment with isoproterenol 10-8, 10-7 and 10-6 mole/kg. 3) Baseline intravesical pressure was not changed by pretreatment with propranolol. Both dose-response curves of acetylcholine and ATP were not significantly affected by pretreatment with propranolol.Summary
In conclusion, pretreatment with atropine inhibited acetylcholine-induced bladder contraction, but had no effect on ATP-induced contraction. Pretreatment with isoproterenol significantly inhibited both contractile stimulation by acetylcholine and ATP. Pretreatment with beta-adrenergic antagonist had no effect on the bladder contraction induced either by acetylcholine or by ATP. Thus, although beta-adrenergic stimulation is capable of significantly inhibiting the contractile responses to both cholinergic and purinergic stimulation, under normal conditions, sympathetic nerves do not modulate either cholinergic or purinergic stimulation.