Vascular therapy for radiation cystitis

Roberto Soler, Alberto Vianello, Claudius Füllhase, Zhan Wang, Anthony Atala, Shay Soker, James J. Yoo, James Koudy Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: The underlying pathology of radiation cystitis is cellular and vascular damage followed by increased fibrosis and inflammation. This study was to determine if neovascular-promoting therapy could reduce the pathological changes in the bladder wall associated with pelvic irradiation. Methods: Adult female Lewis inbred rats were irradiated with a single dose of 20 Gy directed at their bladder. Four weeks later, 30 rats were divided equally into one of three treatment groups for bladder wall injection of: (1) PBS (Control); (2) PBS containing 50 ng vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165); or (3) PBS containing 1 × 106 rat endothelial cells (EC). Age-matched non-irradiated rats (n = 10) served as untreated controls. At either 1.5 or 3 months following radiation, bladders were analyzed for collagen deposition using Masson's Trichrome staining of collagen and muscle and vascularization using Von Willebrand factor staining of ECs. Quantitative-PCR was used to examine markers of angiogenesis, hypoxia, and fibrosis. Results: The collagen/muscle ratio was doubled in the control group 3months post-irradiation (P < 0.05 vs. non-irradiated bladders). Both ECs and VEGF inhibited increases in collagen content (P < 0.05 vs. control). Similarly, irradiation reduced bladder wall vessel counts compared to non-irradiated controls (P < 0.05) and both ECs and VEGF maintained vessel counts similar to that of non-irradiated controls (P < 0.05). PCR analysis showed a higher expression of neovascular markers (CD31, KDR) in the EC and VEGF groups compared to non-irradiated controls (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Angiogenesis therapy may be useful in the prevention and/or treatment of the underlying pathology of radiation cystitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-434
Number of pages7
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • Collagen
  • Endothelial cells
  • Neovascularization
  • Radiation
  • Radiation cystitis
  • Rats
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Urology


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