Systemic Atherosclerosis Causes Detrusor Overactivity: Functional and Morphological Changes in Hyperlipoproteinemic apoE–/–LDLR–/– Mice

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Abstract

Purpose:

The prevalence of systemic atherosclerosis and overactive bladder/detrusor overactivity increases almost simultaneously with age but an association between these diseases has not yet been proved. We evaluated changes in bladder function and morphology, including vascularization, in apoE–/–LDLR–/– double knockout mice with systemic atherosclerosis but without central nervous system involvement.

Materials and Methods:

Cystometry was performed in awake, freely moving 60-week-old apoE–/–LDLR–/– mice and C57BL/6N controls. The mice were sacrificed and perfused with Microfil® contrast medium. The bladder was excised, dissected and scanned by nano-computerized tomography, including 3-dimensional reconstruction. Samples then underwent histomorphological analysis.

Results:

In apoE–/–LDLR–/– mice cystometry revealed a significant decrease in the peak-peak interval, micturition interval, functional bladder capacity and micturition volume. However, maximum bladder pressure increased. Nano-computerized tomography revealed a significant reduction in bladder wall thickness, segment volume, vascular volume and the vascular volume fraction. Histomorphologically bladder specimens showed a thickened media of intramural vessels, activated endothelial cells and intramural inflammatory cells.

Conclusions:

To our knowledge this study presents a new in vivo mouse model of nonneurogenic detrusor overactivity caused by systemic atherosclerosis. Decreased bladder wall vascularization seems to be a major factor for detrusor overactivity onset. Capillaries are rarified with reduced lumina due to thickened media. Activated endothelial cells and the infiltration of inflammatory cells in apoE–/–LDLR–/– mice underlines once more that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory process that may also be relevant to the onset of detrusor overactivity.

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