Afferent bladder nerve activity in the rat: A mechanism for starting and stopping voiding contractions

Joost Le Feber, Els Van Asselt*, Ron Van Mastrigt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this work was to study the relation between afferent bladder nerve activity and bladder mechanics and the mechanisms that initiate and terminate bladder contractions. Bladder nerve activity, pressure and volume were recorded during the micturition cycle in the rat. The highest correlation was found between afferent nerve activity and stress (pressurexvolume). Afferent nerve activity depended linearly on stress within 6%, and both slope and offset were independent of the bladder-filling rate. The levels of afferent bladder nerve activity at the onset and cessation of efferent firing to the bladder were highly reproducible with coefficients of variation of ≤ 17%. We propose a model in which afferent activity is proportional to bladder wall stress, and bladder contraction is initiated when afferent activity exceeds a threshold due to an increasing pressure and volume. The contraction continues until afferent activity drops below a threshold again as a result of a decreasing volume.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-405
Number of pages11
JournalUrological Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bladder nerve activity
  • Trigger mechanism
  • Voiding


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