Gender specific pelvic pain severity in neurogenic cystitis

Charles N. Rudick, Vladimir I. Pavlov, Michael C. Chen, David J. Klumpp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome is a chronic bladder inflammatory disease of unknown etiology that is often regarded as neurogenic cystitis. The condition is associated with focal inflammation, urothelial lesions, voiding dysfunction and pain in the pelvic/perineal area. Approximately 90% of patients with the condition are women, suggesting the possibility of hormonal involvement in interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome symptoms. We examined the basis of gender specific pelvic pain in a murine model of neurogenic cystitis that recapitulates features of interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome and in which pelvic pain is mediated by mast cell histamine. Murine neurogenic cystitis was induced by tail base inoculation of C57BL/6 or BALB/c mice with the Bartha strain of pseudorabies virus. Pelvic pain behavior was assessed by quantifying tactile allodynia in response to mechanical stimulation with von Frey filaments. Bladder mast cells were quantified by flow cytometry. Female mice of each genetic background showed significantly greater pelvic pain behavior than males, although responses were greater in BALB/c females. Gender specific pelvic pain behavior did not correspond to increased bladder inflammation or barrier dysfunction. Modulating reproductive hormonal status by ovariectomy and subsequent estrogen replacement had no effect on the magnitude of pseudorabies virus induced pain. The number of mast cells was associated with pelvic pain severity in female mice but it did not correlate with gender specific pelvic pain. These data suggest that pelvic pain in mice with murine neurogenic cystitis is mediated by gender specific responsiveness to mast cells while pelvic pain severity is modulated by genetic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-724
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • cystitis
  • hormones
  • interstitial
  • mice
  • pelvic pain
  • urinary bladder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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