Modulation of smooth muscle activity by nitric oxide in the human upper urinary tract

H. H. Iversen, I. Ehrén, L. E. Gustafsson, J. Adolfsson, N. P. Wiklund

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14 Scopus citations


The aim of the study was to ascertain whether nitric oxide (NO) might regulate motility in the human upper urinary tract. Smooth muscle activity in the human renal pelvis and proximal ureter was studied in vitro in organ baths, and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity was studied by measurement of citrulline formation. NO, glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) significantly reduced the frequency of spontaneous rhythmic contractions in renal pelvis and proximal ureter. Exogenously applied NO elicited relaxations in pre-contracted renal pelvis. Calciumdependent NOS activity was significant in the renal pelvis but undetectable in the ureter. Also, NOS activity was absent in hydronephrotic renal pelvis. NO, SNP and GTN inhibited smooth muscle activity in the human upper urinary tract. NOS activity was obtained in normal renal pelvis but not in hydronephrotic renal pelvis. Regulation of urinary tract NO concentrations might offer a strategy for treatment of renal colic and disturbances in upper urinary tract motility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-394
Number of pages4
JournalUrological Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitric oxide synthase activity
  • Renal pelvis
  • Upper urinary tract motility
  • Ureter


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