According to a recent NIH report, approximately 8.5% of people worldwide (617 million) are aged 65 and over that will jump to nearly 17% by 2050 (1.6 billion people). In parallel with age, it is expected in the aging male population an increase in lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) associated with prostatic inflammation, a condition related with aging that negatively affects men's quality of life. The treatment of prostatic inflammation represents a challenge for many doctors, accounting for 25% of all office visits made to urological clinics complaining about genitourinary system. The etiology of male LUTS associated with prostate is multifactorial, but recent studies suggest that the pathophysiological basis of male LUTS associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatic inflammation frequently co-occur. Prostate inflammation induced by experimental bacterial infection produces a significant increase in voiding frequency and decreased volume per void. Another recent cystometric study using a rat model of formalin-induced prostatic inflammation showed greater non-voiding contractions and shorter voiding intervals. Despite that urethra exerts a fundamental role in urinary continence, by relaxing during the micturition voiding phase and contracting during the storage phase, there are no studies evaluating the influence of prostatic inflammation in the urethra. Our preliminary results have shown that in middle-aged rats, both urethra and prostate are dysfunctional and together may contribute to micturition alterations. This cross-talk between these closely-related organs is a novel mechanism and could better elucidate the pathophysiology of aging-induced micturition dysfunctions. Therefore, we hypothesize that a prostatic inflammatory microenvironment may release of a wide range of biologically active molecules that are capable to modulate urethra smooth muscle tone, contributing to urethral dysfunction and LUTS. Thus, this project aims to evaluate urethral functional and molecular parameters in a non-bacterial prostatic inflammation rat model. If our hypothesis is correct, the development of this study will help to better understand the influence of the prostate inflammation on the urethra, its implications in LUT functioning and guide us to propose a new treatment.
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