Background: To determine whether neuregulin-1(NRG-1) is a potential new biomarker of overactive bladder (OAB) induced by partial urethral obstruction in a rat model of OAB and to evaluate the urothelium as a therapeutic target of OAB.
Methods: Female Sprague-Dawley rats were separated into three 20-animal groups: normal, OAB, and 5-hydroxymethyl tolterodine (5-HMT)-treated OAB. In the OAB and OAB + 5-HMT groups, the urethra of each animal was partially obstructed; the OAB + 5-HMT group received intravenous 5-HMT for 3 weeks. At the conclusion of the 5-HMT dosing, the rats in each group underwent cystometrography, and the bladders were histologically evaluated. The expression of brain derived-neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and NRG-1 were evaluated in the urothelium.
Results: Compared with the control group, the OAB group showed a markedly increased bladder weight and a significant decrease in the micturition interval and volume; rats in the OAB + 5-HMT group showed decreased bladder weights and an improved micturition interval and volume. BDNF and NRG-1 were expressed at significantly higher levels in the OAB group, and were significantly reduced in the OAB + 5-HMT group compared with the control group.
Conclusions: The study suggests that NRG-1 is a potential new biomarker of OAB; the urothelium might be a therapeutic target for OAB treatment.