Summary by Matthew O. Fraser
The session on Basic Science Innovations did not disappoint, with new findings on novel pathways associated with lower urinary tract function and dysfunction in three of the four presentations. Perhaps the most innovative of the lot was that of Tan et al., which demonstrated successful co-culture of mouse dissociated dorsal root ganglion (DRG) afferent neuronal somata and urothelial cells in adjacent microfluidic chambers. Interestingly, co-culture with urothelial cells in the adjacent chamber resulted in a dramatic increase (~20 fold) in the number of DRG axons which crossed microchannels when compared to unilateral DRG monoculture alone. This finding strongly suggests indirect interactions between the two cells types by diffusible factors. Moreover, close apposition of axonal terminals to urothelial cells suggests direct interaction of the two cell types. This method should facilitate the important study of afferent-urothelial interaction.
Summary by Yasuhiko Igawa
There were four excellent and innovative basic scientific papers presented at this session, all of which focused on the bladder afferent pathway. First, Frias et al (# 9) from the University of Porto demonstrated dual roles of BDNF in neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO) in rats after spinal cord injuries; suppression of NDO in the spinal shock period and facilitation of NDO after NDO-establishment. Next, Nocchi et al (# 10) from the University of Sheffield reported an increase in oxidative stress in the bladder urothelial cells taken from aged mice, which may drive increased neuronal activity leading to bladder hypersensitivity. Third, Doly et al (# 11) also from the University of Sheffield presented their innovative work establishing an in vitro novel model for studying urothelial-afferent cross-talk, which received the Prize Award of the Best Basic Science Abstract. By using this model, they proved that co-culture with urothelial cells can promote afferent nerve growth of the DRG neurons. Finally, Palea et al (# 11) from UROsphere presented the suppressive effect of TRPM8 antagonists on the afferent rim of the micturition reflex in the rat, suggesting their possibility as a new drug candidate for OAB.