Intraurethral stimulation evokes bladder responses via 2 distinct reflex pathways.
Recent animal studies have shown that selective activation of pudendal nerve branches can evoke bladder responses through 2 distinct reflex pathways. We examined intraurethral electrical stimulation as a minimally invasive means of selectively activating these pathways in the cat.
Materials and methods
Bladder responses evoked by intraurethral electrical stimulation were measured in alpha-chloralose anesthetized male cats at different stimulation frequencies, stimulation intensities and intraurethral locations.
Intraurethral electrical stimulation evoked inhibitory and excitatory bladder reflexes depending on stimulation frequency and location. Stimulation in the penile urethra 0 to 3 cm from the urethral meatus at 33 Hz evoked bladder contraction and at 10 Hz it evoked bladder relaxation. These responses were abolished after bilateral transection of the dorsal penile nerves. Stimulation in the membranous urethra 5 to 7 cm from the urethral meatus at 2, 10 and 33 Hz evoked bladder contractions. These responses were abolished after bilateral transection of the cranial sensory nerves. Following acute spinal cord transection bladder contractions were still evoked by 33 Hz stimulation in the penile urethra but not by stimulation at any frequency in the membranous urethra.
Intraurethral electrical stimulation selectively evoked bladder responses by activating 2 distinct pudendal afferent pathways. Responses depended on stimulation frequency and location. Intraurethral electrical stimulation is a valid means of determining the pathways involved in bladder responses evoked by pudendal nerve stimulation.
Woock, JP; Yoo, PB; Grill, WM
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