Localization of nitric oxide synthaseactivity in the human lower urinary tract and its correlation with neuroeffector responses

I. Ehrén, H. Iversen, O. Jansson, J. Adolfsson, N. P. Wiklund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Objectives.: The present study was designed to correlate the localization ofnitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity to nerve-induced smooth muscle responses in the human lower urinary tract. Methods.: Nerve-induced smooth muscle activity was studied in the human lower urogenitaltract. NOS activity was studied by measurement of citrulline formation and guanylate cyclase activity. Results.: Nerve-induced contractions in the human detrusor muscle, bladder neck, andprostatic urethra were not significantly enhanced by the NOS inhibitor Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). In the prostatic urethra, relaxations to transmural nerve stimulation were obtained after increase in tension. The relaxations were abolished by L-NAME and restored by L-arginine. Nerve-induced relaxations were occasionally obtained in the bladder neck, whereas nerve-induced relaxations were never obtained in the detrusor muscle. Citrulline formation was highest in the prostatic urethra, it was intermediate in the bladder neck, and it was less pronounced in the detrusor muscle. Guanylate cyclase activity was also highest in the prostatic urethra, whereas there was no significant difference in guanylate cyclase activity in the bladder neck and detrusor muscle. Conclusions.: The nerve-induced smooth muscle responses and the localization of NOS activity were in good agreement. Thus, in areas where marked relaxations to nerve stimulation were obtained, there was also a high NOS activity. The data suggest that nitric oxide is a mediator for the neurogenic dilation of the bladder neck and urethra during the micturition reflex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-687
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1994
Externally publishedYes


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