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Farhat Lab
Farhat Lab

Normal urinary bladder

The urinary bladder functions are storage and emptying while maintaining chemical gradients between the urine and the blood. The components that contribute to these functions are divided into cellular (urothelium UC, and smooth muscle cells SMC) and extracellular (ECM) components: Cellular: the UC is a multilayered specialised epithelium that serves as an effective blood-urine permeability barrier. The SMC provide the characteristic of low pressure during filling and the ability to contract during emptying.

Extracellular: the ECM, composed of collagens, proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), serves as a reservoir for growth factors and profoundly influences cell growth, differentiation, development, and metabolic responses. In the fetal life, the urinary bladder fills every hour with minimal increase in pressure (5-10 cm H2O) and empty by contraction over a few seconds. In order for the urinary bladder to develop properly and function as an impermeable compliant organ, the cellular and extracellular systems must act in harmony early in the fetal life. In clinical conditions such as obstructive uropathy, where the bladder does not empty regularly, it has been found that the urinary bladder does not function properly.

Click to watch animation of a normal bladder