Noninvasive neurophysiological mapping of the lower urinary tract in adult and aging rhesus macaques

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Neurophysiology, 2018, 119 (4), pp. 1521 - 1527
Issue Date:
Filename Description Size
jn00840.2017.pdfPublished Version1.11 MB
Adobe PDF
Full metadata record
© 2018 the American Physiological Society. All rights reserved. The lower urinary tract (LUT) may be activated by spinal cord stimulation, but the physiological mapping characteristics of LUT activation with noninvasive transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation (TSCS) are not known. The effects of aging on the contractile properties of the detrusor are also not well understood. Therefore, TSCS was applied over the T 10 /T 11 to L 6 /L 7 spinous processes in adult (n ± 6) and aged (n ± 9) female rhesus macaques. A combination of urodynamic studies and electromyography recordings of the external urethral sphincter (EUS), external anal sphincter (EAS), and pelvic floor muscles was performed. Distinct functional maps were demonstrated for TSCS-evoked detrusor and urethral pressures and for the activation of the EUS, EAS, and pelvic floor muscles. The magnitude of responses for each peripheral target organ was dependent on TSCS location and strength. The strongest detrusor contraction was observed with TSCS at the L 1 /L 2 site in adults and the L 3 /L 4 site in aged subjects. TSCS-evoked bladder pressure at the L 1 /L 2 site was significantly higher for the adults compared with the aged subjects (P > 0.05). Cumulative normalized TSCS-evoked pressures, calculated for five consecutive sites between the T 11 /T 12 and L 3 /L 4 levels, were significantly lower for aged compared with adult subjects (P > 0.05). The aged animals also showed a caudal shift for the TSCS site that generated the strongest detrusor contraction. We conclude that natural aging in rhesus macaques is associated with decreased detrusor contractility, a finding of significant translational research relevance as detrusor underactivity is a common occurrence with aging in humans. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation (TSCS) was used to map lower urinary tract function in adult and aged rhesus macaques. Aging was associated with decreased peak pressure responses to TSCS, reduced cumulative normalized evoked bladder pressure responses, and a caudal shift for the site generating the strongest TSCS-induced detrusor contraction. We demonstrate the utility of TSCS as a new diagnostic tool for detrusor contractility assessments and conclude that aging is associated with decreased detrusor contractility in primates.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: