Urinary bladder function in conscious rat pups: A developmental study

Katarina Zvarova*, Peter Zvara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Cystometric studies of bladder function in anesthetized neonatal rats have suggested specific changes in urodynamic parameters that coincide with the development of a mature bladder-to-bladder micturition reflex. Here, we used a conscious cystometry model that avoids the potentially confounding effects of anesthesia to characterize voiding patterns and urodynamic parameters during early postnatal development in healthy rat pups. Cystometry was performed on postnatal day (P)0, 3, 7, 14, and 21 rats with continuous intravesical instillation of NaCl via a bladder catheter. Micturition cycles were analyzed with respect to voiding pattern, nonvoiding contractions, infused volume, and basal, filling, threshold, and micturition pressures. Reproducible micturition patterns were obtained from all age groups. The time from stimulation to contraction was significantly longer (P ≤ 0.001) in ≤1-wk-old rats (~10 s) than that in older rats (~3 s). An interrupted voiding pattern was observed in ≤10-day-old subgroups. Micturition pressure progressively increased with age (from 21.77 ± 1.92 cmH2O at P0 to 35.47 ± 1.28 cmH2O at P21, P ≤ 0.001), as did bladder capacity. Nonvoiding contractions were prominent in the P3 age group (amplitude: 4.6 ± 1.3 cmH2O, frequency: ~4.0 events/100 s). At P7, the pattern of spontaneous contractions became altered, acquiring a volume-related character that persisted in a less prominent manner through P21. Bladder compliance increased with age, i.e., maturation. In conclusion, conscious cystometry in rat pups resulted in reproducible micturition cycles that yielded consistent data. Our results revealed immature voiding and prolonged micturition contractions during the first 10 neonatal days and provide evidence for age-related changes in urodynamic parameters.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Renal Physiology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)F1563-F1568
Publication statusPublished - 15. Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cystometry
  • Postnatal development


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