Preliminary studies by our group and others indicate that angiotensin II may have an important role in the cellular regulation of smooth muscle growth and collagen production in the bladder. The exact mechanisms in which angiotensin II elicits its cellular effects are not known. Given the available information thus far, we hypothesize the following (see Figure 2): 1) Outlet obstruction of the bladder causes increased cell stretch/strain which in turn induces the local production of angiotensin II. Angiotensin II may also influence cell stretch/strain via its direct effects on bladder tone. 2) Angiotensin II then acts as a trophic factor in the bladder wall to cause smooth muscle cell hypertrophy/hyperplasia and increased collagen production via an autocrine and/or paracrine pathway. 3) The cellular effect(s) of angiotensin II may be mediated by secondary growth factors such as bFGF and TGFb Much more extensive research is certainly needed to reveal whether some part, or all of this hypothesis is correct. If angiotensin II is indeed active in regulating muscle and collagen changes in the pathologic bladder, then the clinical implications are extremely exciting since numerous pharmacologic agents are now available which can either inhibit angiotensin II production and/or block receptor mediated events. These agents may prove to be extremely useful in the clinical management of the neurogenic bladder in which obstructive changes may be prevented and potentially reversed. Despite this, caution must be exercised with regard to the potential use of any medications which alter the systemic renin- angiotensin system in the pediatric population since some research has suggested that an intact system may be necessary for the normal development of some organs, including the kidney.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)