Layer-dependent role of collagen recruitment during loading of the rat bladder wall

  • Fangzhou Cheng
  • Lori A. Birder
  • F. Aura Kullmann
  • Jack Hornsby
  • Paul N. Watton
  • Simon Watkins
  • Mark Thompson
  • Anne M. Robertson
Original Paper
  • 175 Downloads

Abstract

In this work, we re-evaluated long-standing conjectures as to the source of the exceptionally large compliance of the bladder wall. Whereas these conjectures were based on indirect measures of loading mechanisms, in this work we take advantage of advances in bioimaging to directly assess collagen fibers and wall architecture during biaxial loading. A custom biaxial mechanical testing system compatible with multiphoton microscopy was used to directly measure the layer-dependent collagen fiber recruitment in bladder tissue from 9 male Fischer rats (4 adult and 5 aged). As for other soft tissues, the bladder loading curve was exponential in shape and could be divided into toe, transition and high stress regimes. The relationship between collagen recruitment and loading curves was evaluated in the context of the inner (lamina propria) and outer (detrusor smooth muscle) layers. The large extensibility of the bladder was found to be possible due to folds in the wall (rugae) that provide a mechanism for low resistance flattening without any discernible recruitment of collagen fibers throughout the toe regime. For more extensible bladders, as the loading extended into the transition regime, a gradual coordinated recruitment of collagen fibers between the lamina propria layer and detrusor smooth muscle layer was found. A second important finding was that wall extensibility could be lost by premature recruitment of collagen in the outer wall that cut short the toe region. This change was correlated with age. This work provides, for the first time, a mechanistic understanding of the role of collagen recruitment in determining bladder extensibility and capacitance.

Keywords

Bladder compliance Collagen recruitment Multiphoton Extracellular matrix 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials ScienceUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology & Chemical BiologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  5. 5.Department of Computer Science & INSIGNEO Institute for In Silico MedicineUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  6. 6.Center for Biologic ImagingUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  7. 7.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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