Experimental autoimmune prostatitis induces chronic pelvic pain

Charles N. Rudick, Anthony J. Schaeffer, Praveen Thumbikat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Pain is the hallmark of patients with chronic prostatitis (CP) and chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS). Despite numerous hypotheses, the etiology and pathogenesis remain unknown. To better understand CP/CPPS, we used a murine experimental autoimmune prostatitis model to examine the development, localization, and modulation of pelvic pain. Pelvic pain was detected 5 days after antigen instillation and was sustained beyond 30 days, indicating the development of chronic pain. The pain was attenuated by lidocaine treatment into the prostate, but not into the bladder or the colon, suggesting that pain originated from the prostate. Experimental autoimmune prostatitis histopathology was confined to the prostate with focal periglandular inflammatory infiltrates in the ventral, dorsolateral, and anterior lobes of the mouse prostate. Inflammation and pelvic pain were positively correlated and increased with time. Morphologically, the dorsolateral prostate alone showed significantly increased neuronal fiber distribution, as evidenced by increased protein gene product 9.5 expression. Pelvic pain was attenuated by treatment with the neuromodulator gabapentin, suggesting spinal and/or supraspinal contribution to chronic pain. These results provide the basis for identifying mechanisms that regulate pelvic pain and the testing of therapeutic agents that block pain development in CP/CPPS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1268-R1275
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
  • Gabapentin
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Prostatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental autoimmune prostatitis induces chronic pelvic pain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this