Open Access Open Badges Research article

Interstitial cystitis antiproliferative factor (APF) as a cell-cycle modulator

Hani H Rashid1, Jay E Reeder12*, Mary J O'Connell2, Chen-Ou Zhang3, Edward M Messing12 and Susan K Keay3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Urology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA

2 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA

3 Department of Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center and Baltimore VA Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

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BMC Urology 2004, 4:3  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-4-3

Published: 6 April 2004



Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic bladder disorder of unknown etiology. Antiproliferative factor (APF), a peptide found in the urine of IC patients, has previously been shown to decrease incorporation of thymidine by normal bladder epithelial cells. This study was performed to determine the effect of APF on the cell cycle of bladder epithelial cells so as to better understand its antiproliferative activity.


Explant cultures from normal bladder biopsy specimens were exposed to APF or mock control. DNA cytometry was performed using an automated image analysis system. Cell cycle phase fractions were calculated from the DNA frequency distributions and compared by two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA).


APF exposure produced statistically significant increases in the proportion of tetraploid and hypertetraploid cells compared to mock control preparations, suggesting a G2 and/or M phase cell cycle block and the production of polyploidy.


APF has a specific effect on cell cycle distributions. The presence of a peptide with this activity may contribute to the pathogenesis of interstitial cystitis through disruption of normal urothelial proliferation and repair processes.