In patients with outlet obstruction, the contraction of the base is reduced compared to that of healthy individuals, while the contraction of the dome is not affected. Here, we investigated the cellular mechanisms that might be responsible for cholinergic effects blocking non-adrenergic non-cholinergic contractions in the base of the urinary bladder. Smooth muscle cells either from the base or from the dome of human urinary bladders were cultured to determine the contribution of cholinergic and purinergic mechanisms to their Ca 2+ homeostasis. While ATP evoked Ca2+ transients in all the cells, nicotine and carbachol induced Ca2+ transients only in 56% and 44% of the cells, respectively. When ATP was administered together with nicotine or carbachol, the amplitudes of the Ca2+ transients recorded from cells prepared from the base of bladders were significantly smaller (42 ± 6% with nicotine and 56 ± 9% with carbachol) than those evoked by ATP alone. This inhibition was much less apparent in the dome of bladders. The inhibition between the cholinergic and purinergic signaling pathways reported in this work may decrease the strength of the contraction of the base of the urinary bladder in patients with outlet obstruction during voiding.
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