Molecular medicine reports

Role of stem cell factor in the regulation of ICC proliferation and detrusor contraction in rats with an underactive bladder.

PMID 28627603


Stem cell factor (SCF) is critical in regulating the proliferation, differentiation and function of the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs), which are closely associated with smooth muscle dysfunction. The present study aimed to examine the effect of SCF on ICC proliferation and detrusor contraction in rats with an underactive bladder. Sprague‑Dawley rats were divided into four groups comprising control, control+SCF, detrusor underactivity (DU), and DU+SCF groups. The ICC count was determined using immunofluorescence; serum levels of SCF were determined using an enzyme‑linked immunosorbent assay; mRNA and protein levels of c‑kit and SCF in tissues were assessed using reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analyses, respectively. Detrusor contractility was determined using muscle strips, based on the contraction amplitude and frequency determined in each specimen. Significantly fewer ICCs were observed in the DU group, in addition to decreased expression levels of SCF and c‑kit, compared with the control group. In addition, the detrusor contraction frequency and amplitude were markedly reduced. However, the administration of SCF significantly increased the number of ICCs, and the levels of SCF and c‑kit in animals with DU, and resulted in markedly amplified detrusor contraction frequency and amplitude. Similarly, the number of ICCs and levels of SCF and c‑kit were higher in the control+SCF group, compared with the control group. Overall, these findings suggested that exogenous SCF improved the organ dysfunction caused by reduced ICC number, providing a novel approach for organ repair.