Topical versus systemic capsaicin desensitization: Specific and unspecific effects as indicated by modification or reflex micturition in rats

C. A. Maggi, I. Th Lippe, S. Giuliani, L. Abelli, V. Somma, P. Geppetti, G. Jancsó, P. Santicioli, A. Meli

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the acute and delayed effect of topical application of high concentrations of capsaicin on the rat urinary bladder on micturition reflex and compare the effects of "topical" bladder desensitization with those produced by systemic (subcutaneous administration) capsaicin desensitization. On acute application, capsaicin (1-3%) produced a transient bladder contraction, not observed in capsaicin-pretreated rats. After a transient increase in excitability of the micturition reflex, topical capsaicin suppressed micturition and overflow incontinence ensued which was reverted by intravenous injection of 4-aminopyridine. Topical capsaicin also abolished reflex micturition in rats which had been systemically treated with capsaicin as adults (50 mg/kg, 7 days before) and reduced significantly the neurogenic bladder contractions produced by intravenous dimethylphenylpiperazinium or neurokinin A, while the direct (myogenic) response to neurokinin A was unaffected. In rats whose bladder was pre-exposed to 1-3% topical capsaicin (7 days before) the micturition reflex was affected in a manner which is qualitatively and quantitatively similar to that observed in rats treated with capsaicin as adults, e.g. increase in bladder capacity with no change in voiding efficiency. Topical capsaicin desensitization of the rat urinary bladder was shown to produce a selective impairment of bladder sensory nerves without any sign of desensitization in other areas of the body using both functional (hot plate, wiping, plasma extravasation) and neurochemical (determination of substance P-like immunoreactivity) assays. Systemically administered capsaicin (7 days before) had little effect on reflex micturition at 12.5 mg/kg but the change in bladder capacity produced at a dose of 25 mg/kg was comparable with that produced at 350 mg/kg. These findings provide evidence that selective desensitization of peripheral terminals of capsaicinsensitive nerves of the rat urinary bladder inactivates their sensory and "efferent" function in a manner similar to that observed after systemic capsaicin desensitization in adult rats. The functional deficit of reflex micturition produced in this way can be overcome by increasing the stimulus to void. By contrast, neonatal capsaicin desensitization produced a long lasting abolition of reflex micturition. These data are in keeping with the hypothesis that adult versus neonatal capsaicin desensitization may be used as a tool to distinguish between two sets of sensory nerves in the rat urinary bladder. At the concentrations (1-3%) commonly used in studies about the effects of capsaicin on nerve excitability following perineural application, the drug has unspecific effects involving a depressant action on postganglionic nerves of the bladder which was also observed on the rat isolated bladder when using high concentrations (10-100 μM) of capsaicin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-756
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroscience
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1989

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Urination
Capsaicin
Reflex
Urinary Bladder
Neurokinin A
Psychologic Desensitization
Dimethylphenylpiperazinium Iodide
Neurogenic Urinary Bladder
4-Aminopyridine
Substance P
Intravenous Injections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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Topical versus systemic capsaicin desensitization : Specific and unspecific effects as indicated by modification or reflex micturition in rats. / Maggi, C. A.; Lippe, I. Th; Giuliani, S.; Abelli, L.; Somma, V.; Geppetti, P.; Jancsó, G.; Santicioli, P.; Meli, A.

In: Neuroscience, Vol. 31, No. 3, 1989, p. 745-756.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Maggi, C. A. ; Lippe, I. Th ; Giuliani, S. ; Abelli, L. ; Somma, V. ; Geppetti, P. ; Jancsó, G. ; Santicioli, P. ; Meli, A. / Topical versus systemic capsaicin desensitization : Specific and unspecific effects as indicated by modification or reflex micturition in rats. In: Neuroscience. 1989 ; Vol. 31, No. 3. pp. 745-756.
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AU - Maggi, C. A.

AU - Lippe, I. Th

AU - Giuliani, S.

AU - Abelli, L.

AU - Somma, V.

AU - Geppetti, P.

AU - Jancsó, G.

AU - Santicioli, P.

AU - Meli, A.

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N2 - The aim of this study was to determine the acute and delayed effect of topical application of high concentrations of capsaicin on the rat urinary bladder on micturition reflex and compare the effects of "topical" bladder desensitization with those produced by systemic (subcutaneous administration) capsaicin desensitization. On acute application, capsaicin (1-3%) produced a transient bladder contraction, not observed in capsaicin-pretreated rats. After a transient increase in excitability of the micturition reflex, topical capsaicin suppressed micturition and overflow incontinence ensued which was reverted by intravenous injection of 4-aminopyridine. Topical capsaicin also abolished reflex micturition in rats which had been systemically treated with capsaicin as adults (50 mg/kg, 7 days before) and reduced significantly the neurogenic bladder contractions produced by intravenous dimethylphenylpiperazinium or neurokinin A, while the direct (myogenic) response to neurokinin A was unaffected. In rats whose bladder was pre-exposed to 1-3% topical capsaicin (7 days before) the micturition reflex was affected in a manner which is qualitatively and quantitatively similar to that observed in rats treated with capsaicin as adults, e.g. increase in bladder capacity with no change in voiding efficiency. Topical capsaicin desensitization of the rat urinary bladder was shown to produce a selective impairment of bladder sensory nerves without any sign of desensitization in other areas of the body using both functional (hot plate, wiping, plasma extravasation) and neurochemical (determination of substance P-like immunoreactivity) assays. Systemically administered capsaicin (7 days before) had little effect on reflex micturition at 12.5 mg/kg but the change in bladder capacity produced at a dose of 25 mg/kg was comparable with that produced at 350 mg/kg. These findings provide evidence that selective desensitization of peripheral terminals of capsaicinsensitive nerves of the rat urinary bladder inactivates their sensory and "efferent" function in a manner similar to that observed after systemic capsaicin desensitization in adult rats. The functional deficit of reflex micturition produced in this way can be overcome by increasing the stimulus to void. By contrast, neonatal capsaicin desensitization produced a long lasting abolition of reflex micturition. These data are in keeping with the hypothesis that adult versus neonatal capsaicin desensitization may be used as a tool to distinguish between two sets of sensory nerves in the rat urinary bladder. At the concentrations (1-3%) commonly used in studies about the effects of capsaicin on nerve excitability following perineural application, the drug has unspecific effects involving a depressant action on postganglionic nerves of the bladder which was also observed on the rat isolated bladder when using high concentrations (10-100 μM) of capsaicin.

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