Urinary bladder distention evoked visceromotor responses as a model for bladder pain in mice

J Vis Exp. 2014 Apr 27;(86):51413. doi: 10.3791/51413.

Abstract

Approximately 3-8 million people in the United States suffer from interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS), a debilitating condition characterized by increased urgency and frequency of urination, as well as nocturia and general pelvic pain, especially upon bladder filling or voiding. Despite years of research, the cause of IC/BPS remains elusive and treatment strategies are unable to provide complete relief to patients. In order to study nervous system contributions to the condition, many animal models have been developed to mimic the pain and symptoms associated with IC/BPS. One such murine model is urinary bladder distension (UBD). In this model, compressed air of a specific pressure is delivered to the bladder of a lightly anesthetized animal over a set period of time. Throughout the procedure, wires in the superior oblique abdominal muscles record electrical activity from the muscle. This activity is known as the visceromotor response (VMR) and is a reliable and reproducible measure of nociception. Here, we describe the steps necessary to perform this technique in mice including surgical manipulations, physiological recording, and data analysis. With the use of this model, the coordination between primary sensory neurons, spinal cord secondary afferents, and higher central nervous system areas involved in bladder pain can be unraveled. This basic science knowledge can then be clinically translated to treat patients suffering from IC/BPS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cystitis, Interstitial / physiopathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Urinary Bladder / physiopathology*
  • Visceral Pain / etiology*