Purpose: The effects of the local anesthetic lidocaine on the noxious excitation and subsequent desensitization of bladder sensory fibers, produced by intravesical capsaicin, were evaluated through c-fos activation in the spinal cord.
Materials and methods: Noxious excitation was demonstrated by counting Fos-immunoreactive (IR) cells occurring in the rat spinal cord 2 hours after intravesical administration of 1 mM. capsaicin, preceded or not by 2% lidocaine. Desensitization was studied by comparing the number of Fos-IR cells induced by 1% acetic acid in rats treated 24 hours before with 1 mM. intravesical capsaicin preceded or not by 2% lidocaine.
Results: Lidocaine instilled previously markedly reduced the number of Fos-IR spinal cells responding to capsaicin-induced bladder afferent excitation. Numbers of Fos-IR cells induced by acetic acid instillation in bladders desensitized by capsaicin administrated 24 hours before were not changed by lidocaine application prior to capsaicin.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that local anesthetic pretreatment of the bladder with lidocaine reduces the capsaicin-induced noxious excitation of the sensory fibers without decreasing their subsequent desensitization.