J. Lensen, Minja Hyttilä-Hopponen, S. Karlsson
Jul 9, 2021
Intracellular inclusions were observed in urinary bladder epithelium of male Wistar rats, following oral treatment with high doses of the α2A-adrenoceptor agonist tasipimidine for 28 days. No cell death or inflammation was associated with the brightly eosinophilic inclusions. Electron microscopy (EM) studies showed that the inclusions represented intact or fragmented red blood cells (RBC) resulting from erythrophagocytosis, further supported by the presence of iron in urothelial cells. In addition, scattered iron-positive macrophages were observed in the submucosa and muscle layer, indicating microvascular leakage, as no major hemorrhage was evident. Despite the presence of inclusions, the urothelium showed normal uroplakin III distribution, normal cell turnover, and an absence of α-2u-globulin. It is, therefore, concluded that the inclusions were not associated with urothelial damage or increased renewal of the epithelium. This finding shows also that urothelial cells have the capability to phagocytize and break down RBCs originating from submucosal microvascular leakage. Similar changes were not observed in tasipimidine-treated beagle dogs (28 days), suggesting these findings were rat specific. The leakage of RBCs into the urothelium is suggested to be a consequence of exaggerated pharmacology leading to vasoconstriction of submucosal blood vessels in combination with transient increased bladder distension and pressure.