OBJECTIVE: To assess changes associated with diabetes in urinary bladder nerve-growth factor (NGF) and NGF receptor p75NTR expression using a streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rat model. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Male Wistar rats (32) were divided into four equal groups: group I, vehicle-treated normal rats; group II, vehicle-treated 9-week STZ-diabetic rats; group III, insulin-treated 9-week STZ-diabetic rats; group IV, phlorizin-treated 9-week STZ-diabetic rats. Bladder NGF levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Expressions of the mRNAs that encoded NGF and NGF receptor p75NTR in the rat bladder were evaluated using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: The mean (SEM) NGF level in the STZ-diabetic rat bladder was significantly lower than in the control group, at 56.56 (8.28) and 84.33 (11.05) pg/μ protein, respectively (P < 0.01). The mRNA expressions of bladder NGF and p75NTR in the diabetic rats were significantly lower than in the control group (P < 0.05 and < 0.001, respectively). Treatment with either insulin or phlorizin restored the normal blood sugar level; moreover, the bladder NGF levels and the expressions of both NGF and p75NTR mRNAs were normal. CONCLUSION: The decrease in the genetic expression of NGF and p75NTR might be responsible for the pathogenesis of diabetic cystopathy while hyperglycaemia is part of the cause of these changes.
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