Corticotrophin-Releasing Hormone neurons of Barrington’s nucleus: Probabilistic, spinally-gated control of bladder pressure and micturition.

Ito H., Sales A.C., Fry C.H., Kanai A.J., Drake, M.J. and Pickering, A.E.

Jul 02, 2019
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Received Date: 23rd June 19

Micturition, the co-ordinated process of expulsion of urine from the bladder, requires precise control of bladder and urethral sphincter via parasympathetic, sympathetic and somatic motoneurons.  In adult mammals this involves a spinobulbospinal control circuit incorporating Barrington’s nucleus in the pons (Barr).  The largest Barr cell population is comprised of pontospinal glutamatergic neurons that express corticotrophin-releasing hormone.  There is evidence that BarrCRHneurons can generate bladder contractions but it is unknown whether they act as a simple switch or a high-fidelity pre-parasympathetic motor drive and whether their activation can actually trigger voids. Combined opto- and chemo-genetic manipulations along with recordings in mice shows that BarrCRHneurons provide a probabilistic drive that generates co-ordinated voids or non-voiding contractions depending on the phase of the micturition cycle.  These findings inform a new inferential model of micturition and emphasise the importance of the state of the spinal gating circuit in the generation of voiding.

Read in full at bioRxiv.


This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature