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Anti-NGF Therapy: A Potentially Effective Treatment for Bladder Symptoms?

Kawamorita N, Yoshikawa S, Kashyap M, Tyagi P, Arai Y, Chancellor MB, Yoshimura N. Liposome-based Intravesical Therapy targeting Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) ameliorates Bladder Hypersensitivity in Rats with Experimental Colitis. J Urol. 2016 Jan 9. pii: S0022-5347(16)00009-4. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2015.12.090. [Epub ahead of print]

This animal study evaluated the potential for treating chronic pelvic pain syndromes using a treatment that targets nerve growth factor (NGF). Previous studies suggested that overexpression of NGF in the bladder might have something to do with development of symptoms in patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndromes (IC/BPS). The specific treatment that was studied is a compound called antisense oligonucleotide (OND) delivered by liposomes, which are tiny spherical pouch-like structures used to efficiently deliver drugs and other substances into the bloodstream and cells. The treatment was given to rats with induced colitis. Treatment with the NGF antisense treatment ameliorated pain-related behavior in the rats; decreased contraction intervals in response to stimulation; and importantly, reduced expression of NGF in the bladder lining. These findings, while very early and not directly applicable to humans, do at least suggest a potential promising role for anti-NGF therapy in treating bladder symptoms for patients with IC/BPS in the future.