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We investigated the contractile roles of M2 and M3 muscarinic receptors in urinary bladder from streptozotocin-treated mice. Wild-type and M2 muscarinic receptor knockout (M2 KO) mice were given a single injection of vehicle or streptozotocin (125 mg kg−1) 2–24 weeks prior to bladder assays. The effect of forskolin on contractions elicited to the muscarinic agonist, oxotremorine-M, was measured in isolated urinary bladder (intact or denuded of urothelium). Denuded urinary bladder from vehicle-treated wild-type and M2 KO mice exhibited similar contractile responses to oxotremorine-M, when contraction was normalized relative to that elicited by KCl (50 mM). Eight to 9 weeks after streptozotocin treatment, the EC50 value of oxotremorine-M increased 3.1-fold in urinary bladder from the M2 KO mouse (N = 5) compared to wild type (N = 6; P < 0.001). Analogous changes were observed in intact bladder. In denuded urinary bladder from vehicle-treated mice, forskolin (5 µM) caused a much greater inhibition of contraction in M2 KO bladder compared to wild type. Following streptozotocin treatment, this forskolin effect increased 1.6-fold (P = 0.032). At the 20- to 24-week time point, the forskolin effect increased 1.7-fold for denuded as well as intact bladders (P = 0.036, 0.01, respectively). Although streptozotocin treatment inhibits M3 receptor-mediated contraction in denuded urinary bladder, muscarinic contractile function is maintained in wild-type bladder by enhanced M2 contractile function. M2 receptor activation opposes forskolin-induced relaxation of the urinary bladder, and this M2 function is enhanced following streptozotocin treatment.


This article was originally published in Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology, volume 381, issue 5, in 2010. DOI: 10.1007/s00210-010-0509-6


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