The well-known side effects of anticholinergic compounds used to treat urinary incontinence caused by detrusor overactivity have addressed the interest on other pharmacological intervention. The purpose of the present work was to investigate the possible changes in purinergic and cholinergic components of parasympathetic neurotransmission in obstructed rat bladders with detrusor overactivity, and to examine the effect of the association of suramin, atropine and indomethacin on nerve-mediated responses to electrical field stimulation (EFS). Mechanical responses to exogenous acetylcholine, ATP and substance P were also evaluated.
Altered sensitivities to acetylcholine and to the sensory neurotransmitter substance P, but unchanged sensitivity to the stable ATP analogue α,β-methyleneATP were observed in bladders from obstructed rats. Suramin and atropine inhibited purinergic and cholinergic components of the neurogenic responses evoked by EFS in detrusor strips from control and obstructed rats. Interestingly, suramin enhanced the antagonistic effect of atropine on neurogenic responses of detrusor strips at all frequencies of stimulation tested. Our results suggest that the association between an antimuscarinic drug and an antagonist of P2X purinoceptors such as suramin might be helpful to reduce the therapeutic dosage of the antimuscarinic drug, along with its side effects. This approach may be of interest in the therapy of patients with bladder incontinence caused by detrusor overactivity, which do not even respond to a maximal dosage of antimuscarinic drug.