Inflammation of the lower urinary tract occurs frequently in people. The causes remain obscure, with the exception of urinary tract infection. Animal models have proven useful for investigating and assessing mechanisms underlying symptoms associated with lower urinary tract inflammation and options for suppressing these symptoms. This review will discuss various animal models of lower urinary tract inflammation, including feline spontaneous (interstitial) cystitis, neurogenic cystitis, autoimmune cystitis, cystitis induced by intravesical instillation of chemicals or bacterial products (particularly lipopolysaccharide or LPS), and prostatic inflammation initiated by transurethral instillation of bacteria. Animal models will continue to be of significant value in identifying mechanisms resulting in bladder inflammation, but the relevance of some of these models to the causes underlying clinical disease is unclear. This is primarily because of the lack of understanding of causes of these disorders in people. Comparative and translational studies are required if the full potential of findings obtained with animal models to improve prevention and treatment of lower urinary tract inflammation in people is to be realized.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.