Treating lower urinary tract symptoms with traditional Chinese medicine

Suo Quan Wan (SQW), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been prescribed for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms and has been confirmed to modulate the expression of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) according to bladder function recovery of overactive bladder. The study, published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, further looked at how SQW modulated TRPV1 signaling and bladder function using TRPV1 knockout (KO) mice.

  • Researchers at Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and the University of Macau in China treated the TRPV1 KO mice with SQW.
  • SQW is composed of Alpinia oxyphylla Miq, Dioscorea rhizome Thunb., and Aconitii tuber.
  • The researchers evaluated the urinary bladder function of TRPV1 KO mice and bladder distension response to various compounds.
  • TRPV1 mediates stretch detection and regulates sensory function in the bladder. Research has also proven that modulating TRPV1 signaling function is related to treating various lower urinary tract symptoms.
  • Results revealed that the adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) released by the TRPV1 mice from strips of bladder smooth muscles was substantially reduced.
  • Reductions of ATP released from the bladder and P2X3 secreted from nerves of mice without TRPV1 may lead to reductions in bladder pressure and voiding reflex delay result in micturition interval extension.
  • SQW intervention on TRPV1 mice increased ATP release to some degree.
  • The treatment could also improve the bladder function to a certain degree.
  • However, SQW will not be effective on bladder function without TRPV1. Thus, the researchers suggested that the effect of SQW on bladder function is associated with the regulated TRPV1 signaling, which took over the afferent nerve conduction and the relevant neurotransmitter secretion.

In conclusion, TRPV1 plays a key role in urinary bladder mechanosensitivity, and SQW is not as beneficial in bladder function without TRPV1.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

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Journal reference

Lai H, Yan QT, Cao H, Chen P, Xu Y, Jiang W, Wu Q, Huang P, Tan B. EFFECT OF SQW ON THE BLADDER FUNCTION OF MICE LACKING TRPV1. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 15 November 2016; 16(465). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1420-6

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