American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology

Social stress induces changes in urinary bladder function, bladder NGF content, and generalized bladder inflammation in mice.

PMID 25100077


Social stress may play a role in urinary bladder dysfunction in humans, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. In the present study, we explored changes in bladder function caused by social stress using mouse models of stress and increasing stress. In the stress paradigm, individual submissive FVB mice were exposed to C57BL/6 aggressor mice directly/indirectly for 1 h/day for 2 or 4 wk. Increased stress was induced by continuous, direct/indirect exposure of FVB mice to aggressor mice for 2 wk. Stressed FVB mice exhibited nonvoiding bladder contractions and a decrease in both micturition interval (increased voiding frequency) and bladder capacity compared with control animals. ELISAs demonstrated a significant increase in histamine protein expression with no change in nerve growth factor protein expression in the urinary bladder compared with controls. Unlike stressed mice, mice exposed to an increased stress paradigm exhibited increased bladder capacities and intermicturition intervals (decreased voiding frequency). Both histamine and nerve growth factor protein expression were significantly increased with increased stress compared with control bladders. The change in bladder function from increased voiding frequency to decreased voiding frequency with increased stress intensity suggests that changes in social stress-induced urinary bladder dysfunction are context and duration dependent. In addition, changes in the bladder inflammatory milieu with social stress may be important contributors to changes in urinary bladder function.

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