Toll-like receptor 4 activation contributes to diabetic bladder dysfunction in a murine model of type 1 diabetes

Theodora Szasz, Camilla F. Wenceslau, Beth Burgess, Kenia P. Nunes, R. Clinton Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Diabetic bladder dysfunction (DBD) is a common urological complication of diabetes. Innate immune system activation via Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) leads to inflammation and oxidative stress and was implicated in diabetes pathophysiology. We hypothesized that bladder hypertrophy and hypercontractility in DBD is mediated by TLR4 activation. Wild-Type (WT) and TLR4 knockout (TLR4KO) mice were made diabetic by streptozotocin (STZ) treatment, and bladder contractile function and TLR4 pathway expression were evaluated. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the expression of TLR4 in human and mouse bladder. Recombinant high-mobility group box protein 1 (HMGB1) increased bladder TLR4 and MyD88 expression and enhanced contractile response to electrical field stimulation. Bladder expression of TLR4 and MyD88 and serum expression of HMGB1 were increased in STZ compared with control mice. Carbachol (CCh)-mediated contraction was increased in bladders from STZ mice, and TLR4 inhibitor CLI-095 attenuated this increase. Induction of diabetes by STZ in WT mice increased bladder weight and contractile responses to CCh and to electrical field stimulation. TLR4KO mice were not protected from STZ-induced diabetes; however, despite levels of hyperglycemia similar to those of WT STZ mice, TLR4KO STZ mice were protected from diabetes-induced bladder hypertrophy and hypercontractility. These data suggest that TLR4 activation during diabetes mediates DBD-Associated bladder hypertrophy and hypercontractility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3754-3764
Number of pages11
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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