Cyclophosphamide cystitis in rats: involvement of capsaicin-sensitive primary afferents

J Auton Nerv Syst. 1992 May 15;38(3):201-8. doi: 10.1016/0165-1838(92)90031-b.


The involvement of capsaicin-sensitive primary afferent neurons in cyclophosphamide (CYP)-induced cystitis has been investigated in rats. CYP (150 mg/kg) was administered 48 h before testing in both vehicle- and capsaicin- (50 mg/kg s.c., 4 days before) treated rats. Some experiments were also performed 96 h after bilateral removal of pelvic ganglia to produce bladder denervation. CYP administration produced a marked detrusor hyperreflexia which was abolished by capsaicin pretreatment, demonstrating that it is mediated through stimulation of capsaicin-sensitive afferent neurons. CYP administration was followed by a marked increase in bladder weight and plasma protein extravasation (measured by the Evans blue leakage technique). The latter effect was largely prevented by ganglionectomy but was aggravated by capsaicin pretreatment. The effect of capsaicin was suppressed by ganglionectomy. Isolated strips of detrusor muscle from CYP-treated animals developed less tension in response to various stimuli as compared to strips from vehicle-treated animals; however, when contractile responses were expressed as percentage of an internal standard (carbachol-induced contraction) no difference was evident between the two groups. The bladder content of calcitonin gene-related peptide, used as a marker of the bladder afferent fibres that are capsaicin-sensitive in adult rats, was slightly reduced as compared to controls, but the difference can be accounted for by the increased bladder weight. We conclude that CYP-induced cystitis is not accompanied by a toxic effect on bladder nerves and that the decrease in bladder capacity is entirely mediated through stimulation of capsaicin-sensitive afferent fibres, presumably linked to the formation of the irritant metabolite of CYP, acrolein.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / metabolism
  • Capillary Permeability
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology*
  • Cyclophosphamide*
  • Cystitis / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Neurons, Afferent / drug effects
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Ureter / anatomy & histology
  • Urinary Bladder / anatomy & histology
  • Urinary Bladder / innervation*
  • Urinary Bladder / metabolism


  • Blood Proteins
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Capsaicin