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Researchers Pinpoint Two Inflammation-Related Genes Potentially Implicated in IC/BPS

Offiah I, Didangelos A, Dawes J, Cartwright R, Khullar V, Bradbury EJ, O’Sullivan S, Williams D, Chessell IP, Pallas K, Graham G, O’Reilly BA, McMahon SB. The Expression of Inflammatory Mediators in Bladder Pain Syndrome. Eur Urol. 2016 Aug;70(2):283-90. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2016.02.058. Epub 2016 Mar 7.

Researchers in this study identified two inflammation-related genes that are more often expressed in patients with bladder pain syndrome (BPS), providing new clues as to how this syndrome might be treated. They found these differences in gene expression by looking at bladder biopsies from 15 women with BPS, and compared those with samples from 15 control subjects who had healthy bladders. They looked at a total of 96 genes associated with inflammation, of which two, known as FGF7 and CCL21, were found to be linked to clinical outcomes. Later, the investigators used laboratory animals to test how the genes work, confirming that CCL21 in particular may play a role in the development of bladder pain. Rats exposed to CCL21 by intravesical instillation had more bladder excitability, among other effects. The investigators suspect these genes may play a role in how BPS develops, and that by targeting them; new treatment strategies could be developed.