The influence of hyperglycemia on the remodeling of urethral connective tissue in pregnant rats

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Marini, Gabriela [UNESP]
Piculo, Fernanda [UNESP]
Vesentini, Giovana [UNESP]
Damasceno, Débora C. [UNESP]
Delella, Flávia K. [UNESP]
Calderon, Iracema M.P. [UNESP]
Daneshgari, Firouz
Felisbino, Sérgio L. [UNESP]
Barbosa, Angélica M.P. [UNESP]
Rudge, Marilza V.C. [UNESP]
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Objective To analyze the distribution and quantification of the key structural extracellular matrix components of the urethral tissue in a rat model of hyperglycemia and pregnancy. Study design A total of 120 female Wistar rats were distributed into the following four experimental groups: virgin, pregnant, hyperglycemic and hyperglycemic + pregnant groups. The urethra was harvested for histochemical, morphometric, immunohistochemical, Western blot and glycosaminoglycan analyses. All protocols were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of Botucatu Medical School (process number 828–2010). Results The hyperglycemic + pregnant group showed significantly increased stiffness in urethral tissue. The total striated muscle was decreased, with increased deposition of collagen fibers around the muscle fibers and a change in the organization of the collagen fibrils. An increase in the relative collagen type I/III ratio and a decrease in total glycosaminoglycans were also observed. Conclusions This study provides the first line of experimental evidence supporting a metabolic relationship between hyperglycemia and urethral remodeling of connective tissue in pregnant rats. The different organization of the collagen fibrils and the profile of glycosaminoglycans found in urethral samples suggest that the pathology of the urethral fibromuscular system could be related to hyperglycemia-induced pelvic floor dysfunction in women, which has direct clinical implications with the possibility to develop new multidisciplinary treatments for improving the health care of these women.
Collagen, Diabetes, Extracellular matrix, Pregnancy, Rats, Urethra
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European Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, v. 221, p. 81-88.