Synergistic activities of abdominal muscles are required for efficient micturition in anesthetized female mice

Chuan Zhang, Yingchun Zhang, Yolanda Cruz, Timothy B. Boone, Alvaro Munoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: To characterize the electromyographic activity of abdominal striated muscles during micturition in urethane-anesthetized female mice, and to quantitatively evaluate the contribution of abdominal responses to efficient voiding. Methods: Cystometric and multichannel electromyographic recordings were integrated to enable a comprehensive evaluation during micturition in urethane-anesthetized female mice. Four major abdominal muscle domains were evaluated: the external oblique, internal oblique, and superior and inferior rectus abdominis. To further characterize the functionality of the abdominal muscles, pancuronium bromide (25 μg/mL or 50 μg/mL, abdominal surface) was applied as a blocking agent of neuromuscular junctions. Results: We observed a robust activation of the abdominal muscles during voiding, with a consistent onset/offset concomitant with the bladder pressure threshold. Pancuronium was effective, in a dose-dependent fashion, for partial and complete blockage of abdominal activity. Electromyographic discharges during voiding were significantly inhibited by applying pancuronium. Decreased cystometric parameters were recorded, including the peak pressure, pressure threshold, intercontractile interval, and voiding duration, suggesting that the voiding efficiency was significantly compromised by abdominal muscle relaxation. Conclusions: The relevance of the abdominal striated musculature for micturition has remained a topic of debate in human physiology. Although the study was performed on anesthetized mice, these results support the existence of synergistic abdominal electromyographic activity facilitating voiding in anesthetized mice. Further, our study presents a rodent model that can be used for future investigations into micturition-related abdominal activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-19
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Neurourology Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Abdominal muscles
  • Cystometry
  • Electromyography
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms
  • Micturition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Urology


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