3-Dimensional morphometric analysis of murine bladder development and dysmorphogenesis

Dev Dyn. 2012 Mar;241(3):522-33. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.23744. Epub 2012 Jan 31.


Background: Disorders of the urinary tract represent a major cause of morbidity and impaired quality of life. To better understand the morphological events responsible for normal urinary tract development, we performed 3-D reconstructive analysis of developing mouse bladders in control, mgb-/-, and Fgfr2(Mes-/-) mice.

Results: Detrusor smooth muscle differentiation initiated in the bladder dome and progressed caudally with the leading edge extending down the right posterior surface of the bladder. Gender-specific differences in detrusor smooth muscle development were observed during early embryonic development. Bladder trigone morphology transitioned from an isosceles to equilateral triangle during development due to the preferential lengthening of the urethra to ureter distance. The primary defect observed in mgb-/- bladders was a significant reduction in detrusor smooth muscle differentiation throughout development. Deviations from normal trigone morphology correlated best with VUR development in Fgfr2(Mes-/-) mice, while alterations in intravesicular tunnel length did not.

Conclusions: Multivariate morphometric analysis provides a powerful tool to quantify and assess urinary tract development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Muscle, Smooth / abnormalities
  • Muscle, Smooth / anatomy & histology
  • Muscle, Smooth / embryology
  • Organ Size
  • Organogenesis*
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2 / genetics
  • Urinary Bladder / abnormalities
  • Urinary Bladder / anatomy & histology*
  • Urinary Bladder / embryology*
  • Urothelium / anatomy & histology
  • Urothelium / embryology
  • Urothelium / metabolism


  • Fgfr2 protein, mouse
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2