The action of cysteinyl-leukotrienes on intracellular calcium mobilization in human detrusor myocytes

BJU Int. 2001 May;87(7):690-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-410x.2001.02135.x.


Objective: To investigate the presence of leukotriene D4 receptors in fura-2-loaded human detrusor smooth muscle cells (DSMCs) by examining the ability of leukotriene D4 to raise intracellular-free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), to determine the origin of the leukotriene D4-mediated rise in [Ca2+]i and to investigate whether the specific leukotriene D4 receptor antagonist montelukast inhibits the Ca2+ response induced by leukotriene D4.

Materials and methods: Detrusor muscle biopsies were obtained from patients with benign noninvasive bladder diseases undergoing cystoscopy. DSMCs were isolated using an explant technique and maintained in culture. Only primary cultures or cells passaged up to three times were used for experiments. DSMCs were characterized with immunohistochemical staining and their identity confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. [Ca2+]i was measured in single DSMCs using the Ca2+ probe fura-2 and fluorescence-ratio microscopy.

Results: Immunohistochemical staining showed that 80-99% of the cells were positive for smooth muscle alpha-actin. The ultrastructural features of the cultured cells were those of smooth muscle cells and showed no differentiation in a fibroblastic or myofibroblastic direction. Leukotriene D4 increased the level of [Ca2+]i in a dose-dependent manner. Calcium was mobilized almost exclusively from intracellular Ca2+ stores. There was a dose-dependent inhibition of the increase in [Ca2+]i by montelukast.

Conclusion: The present study is the first to show the presence of specific leukotriene D4 receptors in human detrusor myocytes. This may have implications for a potential pathophysiological role of leukotriene D4 in patients with interstitial cystitis and other functional or inflammatory bladder disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leukotriene D4 / physiology*
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Muscle, Smooth / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Leukotriene / metabolism*
  • Urinary Bladder / cytology
  • Urinary Bladder / metabolism*
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases / metabolism


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Leukotriene
  • Leukotriene D4
  • cysteinyl leukotriene receptor 2
  • leukotriene D4 receptor
  • Calcium