The cytotoxic drugs cyclophosphamide (CPO) and ifosfamide (IFO) cause toxic urological effects due to the production of urinary metabolites that cause bladder inflammation. This study aimed to identify changes in the bladder afferent system following treatment with these drugs that might explain reported urological adverse effects. Intravesical pressure and afferent nerve activity were recorded during bladder distension and drug administration in isolated bladders from mice, 24 h after intraperitoneal treatment with cyclophosphamide (100 mg/kg), ifosphamide (200 mg/kg) or saline (control). In isolated bladders, total afferent nerve activity at maximum bladder distension was increased from 182 ± 13 imp/s in control animals, to 230 ± 14 imp/s in CPO-treated (p < 0.05) and 226 ± 17 imp/s in IFO-treated (p < 0.001) mice. Single fibre analysis revealed the increase resulted from an enhanced activity in low threshold, wide dynamic range fibres (23.3 ± 1.9 imp/s/fibre in controls to 31.5 ± 2.5 (p < 0.01) in CPO and 29.9 ± 2.0 imp/s/fibre (p < 0.05) in IFO treated). CPO treatment was accompanied by an increase in urinary frequency in vivo, but was not associated with increases in urothelial release of ATP or acetylcholine, bladder compliance or spontaneous muscle activity. Also, CPO-treatment did not affect afferent nerve responses or pressure responses to purinergic, muscarinic or nicotinic agonists. This is the first report of CPO and IFO-induced changes in specific populations of bladder afferents, namely an increase in low threshold, wide dynamic range fibres. These effects appear to be direct and not secondary to increases in smooth muscle activity or the release of urothelial mediators.
- Afferent nerves
- Bladder function