Open Access Open Badges Research article

Adhesion molecules of detrusor muscle cells are influenced by a hypercholesterolemic diet or bladder outlet obstruction in a wistar rat model

José Pontes-Júnior12*, Ricardo Luís Vita Nunes1, Sabrina Thalita dos Reis1, Luiz Carlos N de Oliveira12, Nayara Viana1, Katia Ramos Moreira Leite1, Homero Bruschini1 and Miguel Srougi1

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Medical Investigation – LIM 55, Urology Department, University of São Paulo Medical School, São Paulo, Brazil

2 Universidade Nove de Julho, São Paulo, Brazil

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BMC Urology 2013, 13:50  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-13-50

Published: 20 October 2013



Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are essential for maintaining tissue integrity by regulating intercellular and cell to extracellular matrix interactions. Cadherins and catenins are CAMs that are located on the cell membrane and are important for adherens junction (AJ) function. This study aims to verify if hypercholesterolemic diet (HCD) or bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) promotes structural bladder wall modifications specific to alterations in the expression of cadherins and catenins in detrusor muscle cells.


Forty-five 4-week-old female Wistar rats were divided into the following three groups: group 1 was a control group that was fed a normal diet (ND); group 2 was the BOO model and was fed a ND; and group 3 was a control group that was fed a HCD (1.25% cholesterol). Initially, serum cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and body weight were determined. Four weeks later, groups 1 and 3 underwent a sham operation; whereas group 2 underwent a partial BOO procedure that included a suture tied around the urethra. Six weeks later, all rats had their bladders removed, and previous exams were repeated. The expression levels of N-, P-, and E-cadherin, cadherin-11 and alpha-, beta- and gamma-catenins were evaluated by immunohistochemistry with a semiquantitative analysis.


Wistar rats fed a HCD (group 3) exhibited a significant increase in LDL cholesterol levels (p=0.041) and body weight (p=0.017) when compared to both groups that were fed a normal diet in a ten-week period. We found higher β- and γ-catenin expression in groups 2 and 3 when compared to group 1 (p = 0.042 and p = 0.044, respectively). We also observed Cadherin-11 overexpression in group 3 when compared to groups 1 and 2 (p = 0.002).


A HCD in Wistar rats promoted, in addition to higher body weight gain and increased serum LDL cholesterol levels, overexpression of β- and γ-catenin in the detrusor muscle cells. Similar finding was observed in the BOO group. Higher Cadherin-11 expression was observed only in the HCD-treated rats. These findings may be associated with bladder dysfunctions that occur under such situations.

Cell adhesion molecules; Bladder dysfunction; Hypercholesterolemic diet; Bladder outlet obstruction