PMID: 9612657Jun 5, 1998Paper

Electrical basis of peristalsis in the mammalian upper urinary tract

Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology & Physiology
R J LangM F Klemm


1. Peristalsis in the mammalian upper urinary tract (UUT) is mostly myogenic in origin, originating predominately in the proximal pelvicalyceal regions of the renal pelvis, an area that is enriched with specialized smooth muscle cells termed 'atypical' smooth muscle cells. Propagating peristaltic contractions are little affected by blockers of either autonomic nerve function or nerve impulse propagation; however, blockers of sensory nerve function or prostaglandin synthesis reduce both the frequency and the strength of the spontaneous contractions underlying peristalsis. 2. The electrical drive for these peristaltic contractions has long been considered to involve mechanisms analogous to the heart, such that 'atypical' smooth muscle cells generate spontaneous 'pacemaker' action potentials. These pacemaker potentials trigger the firing of action potentials and contraction in the muscular regions of the renal pelvis, which propagate distally to the ureter, propelling urine towards the bladder. 3. Recent intracellular microelectrode and single cell/channel patch-clamp studies have revealed that the ionic conductances underlying the action potentials recorded in the UUT are likely to involve the opening and slow closure of voltage-...Continue Reading


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