Micturition requires precise control of bladder and urethral sphincter via parasympathetic, sympathetic and somatic motoneurons. This involves a spino-bulbospinal control circuit incorporating Barrington's nucleus in the pons (Barr). Ponto-spinal glutamatergic neurons that express corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) form one of the largest Barr cell populations. BarrCRH neurons can generate bladder contractions, but it is unknown whether they act as a simple switch or provide a high-fidelity pre-parasympathetic motor drive and whether their activation can actually trigger voids. Combined opto- and chemo-genetic manipulations along with multisite extracellular recordings in urethane anaesthetised CRHCre mice show that BarrCRH neurons provide a probabilistic drive that generates co-ordinated voids or non-voiding contractions depending on the phase of the micturition cycle. CRH itself provides negative feedback regulation of this process. These findings inform a new inferential model of autonomous micturition and emphasise the importance of the state of the spinal gating circuit in the generation of voiding.
The data generated during this study are included either in the manuscript, in supporting files, or in the dataset deposited at the University of Bristol Research Data Repository at DOI:10.5523/bris.20l920gl27ufi204brn8ilonsf uk/data/.
Ito, Sales et al 2019 Example BarrCRH recordings and analysis / model codeUniversity of Bristol Research Data Repository DOI:10.5523/bris.20l920gl27ufi204brn8ilonsf uk/data/.
- Christopher H Fry
- Anthony J Kanai
- Marcus J Drake
- Anthony E Pickering
- Anna C Sales
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All experiments and procedures conformed to the UK Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and were approved by the University of Bristol Animal Welfare and Ethical review body. licence (PPL3003362).
- Bernardo L Sabatini, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, United States
© 2020, Ito et al.
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