Voiding dysfunction in old male rats associated with enlarged prostate and irregular afferent-triggered reflex responses

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study was conducted to evaluate the hypothesis that an enlarged prostate in old rats may lead to complications associated with voiding dysfunction involving ionotropic P2X2/3-type purinergic receptors Methods: Intact animals were divided into male young (MYR; 8-10 weeks old) and male old (MOR; 20 months old) rats. The animals underwent simultaneous detrusor electromyography (EMG) and suprapubic cystometry (CMG) under urethane anesthesia. Immunofluorescence techniques were used to evaluate prostatic autonomic innervation and P2X3R expression in bladder urothelial cells. The functional role of P2X3R was characterized by intramuscular application of AF-353, a selective P2X2/3R antagonist. Results: The prostate index significantly increased in MOR, suggestive of an enlarged prostate affecting micturition patterns. Significant EMG and CMG differences were found between MYR and MOR. Higher immunoreactivity for P2X2/3R in the urothelial layer and for prostatic neurofilaments was seen in MOR. Systemic inhibition of P2X2/3R had minimal effects on MYR responsiveness, but improved voiding function in MOR with a marked decrease of intravesical pressure and bladder contractile responses. Conclusions: The data support the hypothesis that an enlarged prostate in MOR may contribute to voiding dysfunction involving activation of P2X2/3R, which enhances a prostate-bladder reflex. This reflex may increase bladder afferent transmission and activation of increased prostate innervation, leading to voiding dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-269
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Neurourology Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Micturition
  • Prostate
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X3
  • Urinary bladder
  • Urothelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Urology


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