Cystometric changes in alloxan diabetic rats: evidence for functional and structural correlates of diabetic autonomic neuropathy

Maurizio Paro, Gianpaolo Italiano, Renato A. Travagli, Lucia Petrelli, Renzo Zanoni, Marco Prosdocimi, Mario G. Fiori

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33 Scopus citations


Autonomic neuropathy and urinary bladder function were compared in Sprague-Dawley rats with alloxan-diabetes of 3 months duration, rats fed sucrose for 8 weeks, and rats examined 8 weeks after pelvic nerve surgical axotomy; normal age-matched rats were used as controls. All experimental interventions induced bladder hypertrophy with increased bladder weight. In diabetic and sucrose-fed animals, water intake and urinary output increased. Cystometric recordings of normal rats in vivo showed rhythmic contractions (1.25 ± 0.25 contr/min) with threshold volume for micturition reflex at 0.51 ± 0.04 ml. In diabetic rats, bladder contractions were irregular and of lower frequency (0.60 ± 0.04 contr/min), while threshold volume was significantly higher (1.00 ± 0.11 ml). Bladder contractions were normal in sucrose-fed animals, though threshold volume was markedly augmented (1.27 ± 0.19 ml). Pelvic nerve surgical ablation abolished micturition reflex. In bladder strips excised post-mortem, contractile response to field stimulation was reduced in diabetic rats compared to control and sucrose-fed animals. Morphological examination of pelvic and hypogastric nerves revealed abnormalities characteristic of diabetic neuropathy only in diabetic rats. These data suggest that in alloxan-induced diabetes the decrease in the rate of bladder contraction is the result of autonomic neuropathy; while bladder hypertrophy in sucrose-fed rats appears to be an organ adaptation to hyperdiuresis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Autonomic Nervous System
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology


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