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1. The importance of Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) in excitation contraction (EC) coupling in human detrusor muscle remains controversial. In this paper the contribution of Ca2+ release to agonist induced contraction is assessed. 2. Dose response curves to carbachol (0.01 - 10 microM) were constructed before and after exposure to 200 nM Thapsigargin (Tg). Tg pre-treatment reduced the force of contraction at all agonist concentrations however, the reduction was dose dependent. At 0.1 microM the contractions were reduced to 14.5 +/- 7% (mean +/- s.e.mean) of controls (n = 8) while at 10 microM the contractions were only reduced to 92 +/- 3% of controls (n = 10). 3. The role of external Ca2+ was examined by measuring the magnitude of contraction to low and high doses of agonist in the presence and absence of external Ca2+. With (0.1-0.3 microM) carbachol the contractions in nominally Ca2+ free media were 4+/-4% of controls (n = 7) whilst with (1 - 10 microM) carbachol the contractions were 36 +/- 8% of controls (n=7) suggesting that at low agonist concentrations the release of Ca2+ has a requirement for external Ca2+. 4. Pre-treatment of muscle strips with the Ca2+ channel blocking agent diltiazem reduced the contractile responses to carbachol. Contractions induced by 0.1 microM were reduced to 29+/-11% (P<0.05) of controls while those activated by 10 microM were reduced to 86+/-6% (P= 0.1) of controls (n = 4) suggesting the Ca2+ influx needed to activate internal store release at low agonist stimulation is through L-type Ca2+ channels. 5. These observations confirm the importance of thapsigargin sensitive intracellular Ca2+ store release in the activation of contraction of detrusor smooth muscle and suggest the overall contribution of this store depends upon the magnitude of the agonist stimulation.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Pharmacol

Publication Date





996 - 1002


Calcium, Carbachol, Diltiazem, Humans, In Vitro Techniques, Muscle Contraction, Thapsigargin, Urinary Bladder