PloS one

Oxidative status and lipofuscin accumulation in urothelial cells of bladder in aging mice.

PMID 23527235


Age-related changes in various tissues have been associated with the onset of a number of age-related diseases, including inflammation and cancer. Bladder cancer, for instance, is a disease that mainly afflicts middle-aged or elderly people and is mostly of urothelial origin. Although research on age-related changes of long-lived post-mitotic cells such as neurons is rapidly progressing, nothing is known about age-related changes in the urothelium of the urinary bladder, despite all the evidence confirming the important role of oxidative stress in urinary bladder pathology. The purpose of this study was thus to investigate the oxidative status and age-related changes in urothelial cells of the urinary bladder of young (2 months) and aging (20 months) mice by means of various methods. Our results demonstrated that healthy young urothelium possesses a powerful antioxidant defence system that functions as a strong defence barrier against reactive species. In contrast, urothelial cells of aging bladder show significantly decreased total antioxidant capacity and significantly increased levels of lipid peroxides (MDA) and iNOS, markers of oxidative stress. Our study demonstrates for the first time that ultrastructural alterations in mitochondria and accumulation of lipofuscin, known to be one of the aging pigments, can clearly be found in superficial urothelial cells of the urinary bladder in aging mice. Since the presence of lipofuscin in the urothelium has not yet been reported, we applied various methods to confirm our finding. Our results reveal changes in the oxidative status and structural alterations to superficial urothelial cells similar to those of other long-lived post-mitotic cells.