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Signs of damage in pelvic floor muscles at the end of pregnancy in rabbits

  • Octavio Sánchez-García
  • Laura G. Hernández-Aragón
  • Kenia López-García
  • Margarita Juárez
  • Margarita Martínez-Gómez
  • Francisco CastelánEmail author
Original Article
  • 21 Downloads

Abstract

Introduction and hypothesis

Temporary effects to pelvic floor muscles are linked to impairments in micturition, particularly stress urinary incontinence (SUI), during pregnancy. We hypothesize that bulbospongiosus (Bsm) and pubococcygeus (Pcm) are differently damaged in primigravid and primiparous rabbits.

Methods

Twenty-four rabbits allocated evenly (n = 6) into nulliparous, pregnant, and primiparous groups on postpartum days 3 (P3) and 20 (P20) were used to evaluate the myofiber cross-sectional area (CSA), β-glucuronidase activity, and anti-3-nitrotyrosine (anti-3-NTyr) immunoreactivity in Bsm and Pcm muscles. Appropriate statistical tests were done to determine significant differences among groups (P ≤ 0.05).

Results

The average CSA of Bsm was not significantly different, albeit a high percentage of myofibers was enlarged in late-pregnant and primiparous rabbits on P3; β-glucuronidase activity and indirect parameter of muscle damage was also higher. These variables did not change in the Pcm muscle during the different reproductive stages. In contrast, the 3-NTyr immunoreactivity, an indicator of oxidative damage, was increased on P3 for Pcm myofibers and P20 for myofibers of both muscles.

Conclusions

Our findings demonstrate reliable signs of damage to Bsm and Pcm muscles in young female rabbits passing different reproductive stages. Damage to the Bsm muscles as detected at the end of pregnancy persisted after delivery. This was not the case for Pcm muscles, in which damage seems to appear after delivery.

Keywords

Bulbospongiosus muscle Pubococcygeus muscle Inflammation Primiparity Reproduction 

Abbreviations

3-NTyr

3-nitrotyrosine

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

Bsm

Bulbospongiosus muscle

CSA

Cross-sectional area

EUS

External urethral sphincter

H&E

Hematoxylin–eosin

LSC

Ligament suspensory of clitoris

LUT

Lower urogenital tract

NO

Nitric oxide

NOS

Nitric oxide synthase

Pcm

Pubococcygeus muscle

PFM

Pelvic floor muscles

PMN

Polymorphonuclear

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

SUI

Stress urinary incontinence

Th cells

T helper cell types.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Jesus Ramses Chávez Ríos and Laura García Rivera for their excellent technical assistance. This study was partially granted by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología of México (Infraestructura 225126) to the Cuerpo Académico de Fisiología del Comportamiento (MMG, FC).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

None.

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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Tlaxcala de Biología de la ConductaUniversidad Autónoma de TlaxcalaTlaxcalaMexico
  2. 2.Departamento de Biología y Toxicología de la Reproducción, Instituto de CienciasBenemérita Universidad Autónoma de PueblaPueblaMexico
  3. 3.Instituto de FisiologíaBenemérita Universidad Autónoma de PueblaPueblaMexico
  4. 4.Departamento de Biología Celular y Fisiología, Instituto de Investigaciones BiomédicasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico

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