Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2005 May 13;288(5):R1332-8. Epub 2005 Jan 13.
The Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Dept. of Urology, 924 Westwood Blvd., Ste. 520, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA.
Existing animal models of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) are limited because of the low rate of incontinence seen in the animals and to their relatively low durability. In addition, most methods described to measure incontinence are operator-dependent. The aim of this study was to develop a new durable animal model of SUI and establish objective measures to quantify SUI. We subjected female rats to transabdominal urethrolysis. At baseline and at 1, 4, 8, 12, and 24 wk after intervention, animals underwent cystometry and evaluation with abdominal leak point pressure (ALPP). Urethral resistance was evaluated by retrograde urethral perfusion pressure (RUPP). Tissues were obtained for histology and immunohistochemistry. Normal female rats had an average ALPP of 19.4 cmH2O and RUPP of 22.6 cmH2O at baseline. More than 93% of the animals had significantly decreased ALPP and RUPP after the procedure. The mean ALPP and RUPP decreased to 9.8 cmH2O and 11.2 cmH2O, respectively, by 1 wk after urethrolysis. These changes were maintained for up to 24 wk. Changes seen in urethral resistance and ALPP appear to be mediated by apoptosis, decreased neuronal mass, and smooth muscle atrophy. These results indicate that transabdominal urethrolysis is a reliable method of achieving durable decreased urethral resistance in a SUI model. RUPP and ALPP are objective and reproducible methods of assessing urethral resistance. Changes in continence and urethral resistance appear to be mediated by denervation and smooth muscle atrophy, which are seen in both elderly incontinent patients and in patients with intrinsic sphincter dysfunction.