Altered bladder function in transgenic mice expressing rat elastin

Gary E. Lemack, Zoltan Szabo, Zsolt Urban, Charles D. Boyd, Katalin Csiszar, E. Darracott Vaughan, Diane Felsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The elasticity of tissues subjected to repeated deformation is provided by the presence of elastic fibers in the extracellular matrix (ECM). The most abundant component of elastic fibers is elastin, whose soluble precursor is tropoelastin. To establish the role elastin plays in the bladder, this study describes the biosynthetic, histologic, and physiologic consequences of expression of an isoform of rat tropoelastin in transgenic mouse bladder. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to determine expression of a rat tropoelastin minigene in transgenic mice. Histochemical methods were used to demonstrate changes in elastic fibers in frozen sections of bladder. Cystometric analysis was carried out in transgenic and non-transgenic mice, prior to and after 3 weeks of partial outlet obstruction. The PCR assay demonstrated that bladder tissue of transgenic mice expressed rat tropoelastin mRNA, whereas non-transgenes did not. Increased deposition of elastic fibers was demonstrated with the Verhoeff-van Gieson stain. Bladders of transgenic animals were more compliant than bladders of their non- transgenic littermates. Partial outlet obstruction resulted in increased bladder volume and more compliant bladders in non-transgenic mice. In contrast, the bladder volume and compliance in transgenes was almost unchanged by obstruction. This study demonstrates that normal elastic fiber assembly is prerequisite for the compliant properties of the bladder wall. Moreover, the response of the bladder to obstruction is critically influenced by elastin synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-68
Number of pages14
JournalNeurourology and urodynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • Bladder
  • Compliance
  • Elastin
  • Transgene
  • Tropoelastin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Urology


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