This study examined contractile responses of the in vitro rabbit whole-bladder preparation to field stimulation, bethane-chol and KCl in Tyrode’s solution and minimum essential medium (MEM). We found frequency-dependent increases in intravesical pressure in bladders incubated in Tyrode’s solution and MEM. However, bladders incubated in MEM consistently responded with greater increases in intravesical pressure compared to those incubated in Tyrode’s solution. Similarly, there were frequency-dependent increases in the rate of pressure generation in bladders incubated in Tyrode’s solution and MEM, and bladders incubated in MEM responded with greater rates of pressure generation than those incubated in Tyrode’s solution at frequencies of 1,2 and 4 Hz. In addition, there were significant increases in intravesical pressure generated in response to administration of 500 mmol/1 bethanechol and 186.4 mmol/1 KCl in bladders incubated in MEM compared to Tyrode’s solution but no changes in the rate of pressure generation. The influence of L-methionine, one of the constituents of MEM, on the responses of whole bladders to nerve stimulation was also investigated. L-methionine at concentrations of 0.1 and 1.0 mmol/l had no effects on the increase in intravesical pressure or rate of pressure generation following nerve stimulation. It is speculated that the increases in contractile responsiveness of bladders incubated in MEM are related to the combination of amino acids, vitamins and other constituents of the cell culture medium.
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