Developmental changes in spontaneous smooth muscle activity in the neonatal rat urinary bladder

Eniko A. Széll, George T. Somogyi, William C. De Groat, Gyula P. Szigeti

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Changes in spontaneous activity of the urinary bladder during postnatal development were examined in muscle strips from the base and dome of bladders from 1- to 5-wk-old rats. Activity was analyzed using fast Fourier transformation (FFT), nonlinear cross prediction, and the Shannon entropy test. Spontaneous activity was not detected in strips from 1- to 5-day-old rats but was observed in 50% of strips from 6- to 7-day-old rats and was prominent in strips from 2-wk-old animals. FFT analysis revealed one peak in activity, which was significantly faster in the bladder base (0.21 ± 0.03 Hz) than in the dome (0.08 ± 0.01 Hz). A second peak at ∼0.5 Hz was detected at 3-5 wk of age. Atropine but not tetrodotoxin decreased the amplitude of spontaneous contractions, whereas carbachol, a muscarinic agonist, unmasked or stimulated spontaneous activity. These data suggest that slow rhythmic activity observed previously in neonatal whole bladders is generated by pacemaker cells in the bladder base or dome. The emergence of faster activity in bladders from older animals may reflect the development of multiple pacemaker sites, which would reduce coordination within the bladder wall and improve storage function in the mature bladder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R809-R816
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4 54-4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2003



  • Fast Fourier transformation
  • Nonlinear analysis
  • Spontaneous contractions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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