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Urothelium-dependent and urothelium-independent detrusor contractility mediated by nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase inhibition


  • Conflict of interest: None.

  • Karl-Erik Andersson led the review process.



The urothelium has been implicated in regulating detrusor smooth muscle contractility but the identity of the putative urothelium-derived inhibitory factor remains unconfirmed. There was inconclusive evidence on the role of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX) in mediating detrusor contractions. This study examined varying regulation by NOS and COX in transverse and longitudinal carbachol (CCh)-induced and unstimulated phasic contractions.


Rat detrusor strips with the urothelium-intact (+UE) and urothelium-denuded (−UE) were isolated in both transverse and longitudinal directions. Isometric tension of the detrusor strips was recorded both during stimulation with CCh and at the unstimulated state. In the unstimulated state, phasic contractile activity was measured. Tension recordings were made with and without the NOS inhibitor Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) and COX inhibitor indomethacin (Indo).


Only transverse +UE strips responded convincingly to L-NAME and Indo treatment, generating larger CCh-induced contractions. In unstimulated tissues, L-NAME treatment increased phasic amplitude in −UE strips only. Indo treatment failed to elicit any change in the amplitude but suppressed frequency of the phasic activity in transverse +UE strips. There was no significant Indo-mediated change in other strips.


The data suggested heterogeneity in the regulation of directional detrusor contractility via NOS- and COX-associated mechanisms. Neurourol. Urodynam. 30:619–625, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.