Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome is a disease seen mostly in women, and symptoms tend to be worse premenopausally or during ovulation. The four cardinal symptoms of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome are bladder pain, urgency, frequency, and nocturia. Estrogen has been implicated in the etiology of this disease, but the role of the two estrogen receptors (ER), ERα and ERβ, has not been investigated. We found that, in the bladders of WT mice, ERβ is expressed in the basal cell layer of the urothelium. Bladders of male ERβ-/- mice were intact and morphologically indistinguishable from those of their WT littermates. However, in female ERβ-/- mice, there was ulceration and atrophy of bladder urothelium concomitant with infiltration of γδ T cells concentrated in the areas of atrophy and shedding of urothelium. The data support the idea that activated γδ T cells are causing the damage to the urothelium. The hyperactivity of T cells may be because of an imbalance between ERα and ERβ signaling in female ERβ-/- mice. Our data suggest that reduced ERβ signaling might have a role in the pathogenesis of interstitial cystitis, and ERβ could be a candidate for a target of medical therapy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jun 5 2007|
- γδ T cells
- Painful bladder syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas