Inosine Improves Neurogenic Detrusor Overactivity following Spinal Cord Injury

PLoS One. 2015 Nov 3;10(11):e0141492. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141492. eCollection 2015.


Neurogenic detrusor overactivity and the associated loss of bladder control are among the most challenging complications of spinal cord injury (SCI). Anticholinergic agents are the mainstay for medical treatment of detrusor overactivity. However, their use is limited by significant side effects such that a search for new treatments is warranted. Inosine is a naturally occurring purine nucleoside with neuroprotective, neurotrophic and antioxidant effects that is known to improve motor function in preclinical models of SCI. However, its effect on lower urinary tract function has not been determined. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of systemic administration of inosine on voiding function following SCI and to delineate potential mechanisms of action. Sprague-Dawley rats underwent complete spinal cord transection, or cord compression by application of an aneurysm clip at T8 for 30 sec. Inosine (225 mg/kg) or vehicle was administered daily via intraperitoneal injection either immediately after injury or after a delay of 8 wk. At the end of treatment, voiding behavior was assessed by cystometry. Levels of synaptophysin (SYP), neurofilament 200 (NF200) and TRPV1 in bladder tissues were measured by immunofluorescence imaging. Inosine administration decreased overactivity in both SCI models, with a significant decrease in the frequency of spontaneous non-voiding contractions during filling, compared to vehicle-treated SCI rats (p<0.05), including under conditions of delayed treatment. Immunofluorescence staining demonstrated increased levels of the pan-neuronal marker SYP and the Adelta fiber marker NF200, but decreased staining for the C-fiber marker, TRPV1 in bladder tissues from inosine-treated rats compared to those from vehicle-treated animals, including after delayed treatment. These findings demonstrate that inosine prevents the development of detrusor overactivity and attenuates existing overactivity following SCI, and may achieve its effects through modulation of sensory neurotransmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Inosine / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Neurofilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / drug therapy*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / metabolism
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology
  • Synaptophysin / metabolism
  • TRPV Cation Channels / metabolism
  • Urinary Bladder / metabolism
  • Urinary Bladder / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder / physiopathology*
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / etiology
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / metabolism
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder, Overactive / physiopathology


  • Neurofilament Proteins
  • Synaptophysin
  • Syp protein, rat
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • Trpv1 protein, rat
  • neurofilament protein H
  • Inosine