Down-regulation of nerve growth factor expression in the bladder by antisense oligonucleotides as new treatment for overactive bladder

Mahendra Kashyap, Naoki Kawamorita, Vikas Tyagi, Yoshio Sugino, Michael Chancellor, Naoki Yoshimura, Pradeep Tyagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Nerve growth factor over expression in the bladder has a role in overactive bladder symptoms via the mediation of functional changes in bladder afferent pathways. We studied whether blocking nerve growth factor over expression in bladder urothelium by a sequence specific gene silencing mechanism would suppress bladder overactivity and chemokine expression induced by acetic acid. Materials and Methods: Female Sprague-Dawley® rats anesthetized with isoflurane were instilled with 0.5 ml saline, scrambled or TYE™ 563 labeled antisense oligonucleotide targeting nerve growth factor (12 μM) alone or complexed with cationic liposomes for 30 minutes. The efficacy of nerve growth factor antisense treatments for acetic acid induced bladder overactivity was assessed by cystometry. Bladder nerve growth factor expression levels and cellular distribution were quantified by immunofluorescence staining and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Effects on bladder chemokine expression were measured by Luminex® xMAP® analysis. Results: Liposomes were needed for bladder uptake of oligonucleotide, as seen by the absence of bright red TYE 563 fluorescence in rats instilled with oligonucleotide alone. At 24 hours after liposome-oligonucleotide treatment baseline bladder activity during saline infusion was indistinct in the sham and antisense treated groups with a mean ± SEM intercontraction interval of 348 ± 55 and 390 ± 120 seconds, respectively. Acetic acid induced bladder overactivity was shown by a decrease in the intercontraction interval to a mean of 33.2% ± 4.0% of baseline in sham treated rats. However, the reduction was blunted to a mean of 75.8% ± 3.4% of baseline in rats treated with liposomal antisense oligonucleotide (p <0.05). Acetic acid induced increased nerve growth factor in the urothelium of sham treated rats, which was decreased by antisense treatment, as shown by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and reduced nerve growth factor immunoreactivity in the urothelium. Increased nerve growth factor in bladder tissue was associated with sICAM-1, sE-selectin, CXCL-10 and 1, leptin, MCP-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor over expression, which was significantly decreased by nerve growth factor antisense treatment (p <0.01). Conclusions: Acetic acid induced bladder overactivity is associated with nerve growth factor over expression in the urothelium and with chemokine up-regulation. Treatment with liposomal antisense suppresses bladder overactivity, and nerve growth factor and chemokine expression. Local suppression of nerve growth factor in the bladder could be an attractive approach for overactive bladder. It would avoid the systemic side effects that may be associated with nonspecific blockade of nerve growth factor expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-764
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • chemokines
  • liposomes
  • nerve growth factor
  • urinary bladder, overactive
  • urothelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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