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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Urology 1/2017

Expression of cannabinoid 1 and, 2 receptors and the effects of cannabinoid 1 and, 2 receptor agonists on detrusor overactivity associated with bladder outlet obstruction in rats

BMC Urology > Ausgabe 1/2017
Sung Dae Kim, Kang Jun Cho, Joon Chul Kim



This study investigated changes in the expression of cannabinoid (CB) receptors and the effects of CB1 and CB2 agonists on detrusor overactivity (DO) associated with bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) in rats.


Male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned to four groups (n = 10) in each group. The control group comprised sham-operated rats. A animals in the BOO, CB1 agonist and CB2 agonist groups all underwent BOO surgery. Three weeks postoperatively, cystometrography (CMG) was performed on all rats. After confirming the presence of DO in the CB1 and CB2 agonist groups, a CB1 agonist (WIN 55,212–2) and a CB2 agonist (CB65) were instilled intravesically, and CMG was repeated. CMG parameters, including the contraction interval (CI) and contraction pressure (CP) were then analyzed. The bladders of rats in all four groups were excised following CMG. Immunofluorescence staining and Western blotting were performed to localize CB1 and CB2 and measure their expression levels in the urothelium and detrusor muscle.


The CI was significantly longer and the CP was significantly lower in the CB1 agonist group than in the BOO group. CI and CP in the CB2 agonist group showed the same results. CB1 receptor immunofluorescence staining signals and immunoreactive bands in Western blotting were increased in the BOO group compared with results in the control group. Similarly, results for the CB2 receptor were also increased in the BOO group, although this difference was not significant. The CMG parameters in the BOO group were significantly improved by the inhibitory effects of CB1 and CB2 agonists on BOO-associated DO. The expression of CB1 was significantly increased in the urothelium and detrusor muscle in BOO-associated DO, but no significant change in CB2 expression was observed.


CB1 and CB2 receptors, especially CB1, play a role in the pathophysiology of BOO-associated DO, and could serve as therapeutic targets.
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