Spinal mechanisms of pudendal nerve stimulation-induced inhibition of bladder hypersensitivity in rats

Academic Article


  • © 2018 Elsevier B.V. Bilateral electrical pudendal nerve stimulation (bPNS) reduces bladder hypersensitivity in rat models of bladder pain and anecdotally reduces pain in humans with pelvic pain of urologic origin. The spinal neurochemical mechanisms of this antinociception are unknown. In the present study, bladder hypersensitivity was produced by neonatal bladder inflammation in rat pups coupled with a second inflammatory insult as an adult. Visceromotor responses (VMRs; abdominal muscle contractions) to urinary bladder distension (UBD) were used as a nociceptive endpoint under urethane-isoflurane anesthesia. bPNS consisted of bilateral biphasic electrical stimulation of the mixed motor/sensory component of the pudendal nerves. Following determination of the inhibitory effect of bPNS on VMRs, pharmacological antagonists were administered via an intrathecal catheter onto the lumbosacral spinal cord and bPNS effects on VMRs redetermined. bPNS resulted in statistically significant inhibition of VMRs to UBD in hypersensitive rats that was statistically reduced by the intrathecal administration of methysergide, WAY100636, CGP35348 and strychnine but was unaffected by naloxone, bicuculline, phentolamine, ondansetron and normal saline. This study suggests that inhibitory effects of bPNS may include serotonergic, GABA-B-ergic and glycinergic mechanisms suggesting the potential for interaction of the neuromodulatory effect with concommitant drug therapies.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 27518174
  • Author List

  • Ness TJ; DeWitte C; McNaught J; Clodfelder-Miller B; Su X
  • Start Page

  • 181
  • End Page

  • 185
  • Volume

  • 686