FMUP | Contact us

Translational Neuro-Urology Group

The Translational Neuro-Urology Group aggregates Urologists, working in the Department of Urology of HS João, and scientists, who work at the Intitute of Histology e Embryology of the Faculty of Medicine of Porto. The main goal of this group is to investigate the role of the nervous system to the normal activity of the lower urinary tract and male genital system and its contribution to the pathophysiology of common diseases affecting the lower urinary tract (LUT) and the male genital system. The members of this new group have long been involved in translational research focusing on urinary incontinence, visceral pain and erectile dysfunction. The intimate cooperation of Urologists with Fundamental Scientists potentiates the capacity of the group to answer questions addressing the pathophysiological mechanisms of LUT diseases.

As a fundamental part of the group's translational research, the clinical members of the group have access to outpatient clinics have permission to collect human tissue from cadaveric organ donors, providing the group with the invaluable access to normal tissue in addition to pathological samples, the latter being obtained from patients following authorized consent. Another major advantage of this group comes from the long established expertise on several areas of fundamental research. These include molecular biology, neuro-physiology, immunohistochemistry, biochemistry, image analysis and tissue/cell culture. We also have well established animal models of human diseases and access to receptor transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV1) knockout mice colonies.

In what concerns pain research, we focus on visceral pain and have successfully demonstrated the importance of the TRPV1 in visceral pain, by studying its expression in the urinary bladder, using knockout mice, desensitizing the receptor and testing the efficacy of specific TRPV1 oral antagonists (currently undergoing clinical trials). Our group has also demonstrated the importance of signaling pathways to bladder-originated pain. We have also focused on the importance of neurotrophins in visceral pain and are currently testing the effects of neurotrophins sequestration. In the clinic, we have shown the beneficial effects on pain levels of TRPV1 desensitization and are currently exploring the use of botulinum toxin to treat patients with painful bladder syndrome.

Publications (last 5 years)

  • Pinto R, Lopes T, Frias B, Silva A, Silva JA, Silva CM, Cruz C, Cruz F, Dinis P (2010). Trigonal injection of botulinum toxin A in patients with refractory bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis. Eur Urol 58(3):360-5.
  • Charrua A, Cruz CD, Narayanan S, Gharat L, Gullapalli S, Cruz F, Avelino A (2009). GRC-6211, a new oral specific TRPV1 antagonist, decreases bladder overactivity and noxious bladder input in cystitis animal models. J Urol 181(1):379-86.
  • Szallasi A, Cruz F, Geppetti P (2006). TRPV1: a therapeutic target for novel analgesic drugs? Trends Mol Med 12(11):545-54.
  • Cruz CD, Avelino A, McMahon SB, Cruz F (2005). Increased spinal cord phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases mediates micturition overactivity in rats with chronic bladder inflammation. Eur J Neurosci 21(3):773-81.
  • Dinis P, Charrua A, Avelino A, Yaqoob M, Bevan S, Nagy I, Cruz F (2004). Anandamide-evoked activation of vanilloid receptor 1 contributes to the development of bladder hyperreflexia and nociceptive transmission to spinal dorsal horn neurons in cystitis. J Neurosci 24(50):11253-63.
Pain Unit Cell Division Group Stress and Ageing Group Translational Neuro-Urology Group
© 2011 Experimental Biology Department | Development CI FMUP