New Cells Found In The Urethra Which May Detect Hazardous Substances
The authors suggest that in analogy to brush cells of the respiratory tract, the urethral brush cells may also serve as sentinels being able to detect hazardous substances and prevent their further retrograde ingression.
The results of this investigation were presented at the upcoming 28th Annual EAU Congress in Milan. The study won 2nd Prize for Best Abstract in Non-Oncology.
"Urinary tract infections rate among the most common indispositions among out- as well as in-patients and are chiefly triggered by bacteria entering the body through the urethra. We here discovered a previously not recognised cell which surveils this portal of entry," commented the presenting author of the study, Ms. Katharina Filipski of the Anatomy and Cell Biology Department at Justus-Liebig-University Giessen in Germany.
"A further exploration of this cell population will provide insight into cellular interaction and defensive measures against pathogens."
According to the authors, cholinergic chemoceptive cells might play an essential role in detecting and defending microorganisms invading the body through the urethra. The maintenance and support of their protective function could fortify the immune barrier and prevent urinary tract infections by initiating avoiding reflexes as micturition.
"It is also conceivable that dysfunction of this system might result in inappropriate urge, thereby being linked to overactive bladder," explained Ms. Filipski.
During the study, the detection and characterisation of chemosensory brush cells of the murine urethra was addressed by means of ultrastructural immunohistochemistry, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) analysis and 3D-reconstruction, immunofluorescence, RT-PCR, and measurement of intracellular calcium concentration.
According to Ms. Filipski, the results of the study promote further research into the subject matter.
"Together with the urological clinic of our university, we now aim to unravel the reflexes initiated after the detection of bacteria by the chemoceptive cholinergic cells. This will be addressed by cystomanometry of mice after urethral exposure to bacterial components."
Source: EurekAlert!, the online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
European Association of Urology. "New Cells Found In The Urethra Which May Detect Hazardous Substances." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 18 Mar. 2013. Web.
19 Feb. 2017. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/257751.php>
European Association of Urology. (2013, March 18). "New Cells Found In The Urethra Which May Detect Hazardous Substances." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.