Lack of nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 2 (Nmnat2): Consequences for mouse bladder development and function


  • Lori Birder led the peer-review process as the Associate Editor responsible for the paper.
  • Conflict of interest: none.



To describe the morphological and functional consequences for bladder development and function when nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 2 (Nmnat2) is lacking or reduced.


The Bloated Bladder (Blad) mouse, lacking Nmnat2, and heterozygotes were utilized for this investigation. Morphology and development of the bladder were studied using immunohistochemistry against urothelial, smooth muscle, and nerve markers. Functional effects were assessed by organ bath experiments and cystometry.


Homozygote mutants were malformed and died at birth, whereas heterozygotes survived and morphologically did not differ from wild-type controls. Morphological bladder changes appeared in the Blad mutants as early as embryonic day 15.5 (E15.5) with an extremely distended bladder at E18.5. Staining revealed that all the bladder layers were present and expressed mature markers in all three genotypes. No nerves could be demonstrated by immunohistochemistry in the Blad mutant bladder at E18.5. Organ bath analysis showed that bladders from Blad mutant showed signs of denervation supersensitivity in response to carbachol, and no response to electrical stimulation of nerves at E18.5. Adult heterozygotes, which have a reduced expression of Nmnat2 at E18.5, showed decreased responses to carbachol and electrical stimulation compared to wild-type controls. The latter also retained their ability to empty their bladders, but showed increased micturition pressures compared to controls.


Complete loss of Nmnat2 leads to a mature but distended bladder in utero and is not compatible with survival. Moderate loss of Nmnat2 has no effect on bladder development, survival, and has only modest effects on bladder function later in life. Neurourol. Urodynam. 32:1130–1136, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.