Human female bladder and its noncholinergic contractile function
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The response of human female detrusor muscle to field stimulation at varying voltages, durations, and frequencies was studied in vitro. In addition, the effects of adrenergic and cholinergic agonists and antagonists, and various nerve toxins were studied. Beta-adrenergic receptors were found in detrusor muscle but no significant adrenergic innervation was seen; no alpha-adrenergic receptors were seen. Atropine, scorpion venom, tetrodotoxin, beta bungarotoxin and hemicholinium were found to inhibit bladder contraction at short-pulse durations and low frequencies by approximately 50%. Black widow spider venom was seen to abolish bladder contractions entirely. It is concluded that acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter responsible for approximately 50% of bladder contraction. The remaining 50% would seem to be noncholinergic and not dependent on fast sodium channels for transmission of excitation, but would seem to be due to a structure with a short-membrane time constant, such as nerve, and is sensitive to black widow spider venom.
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