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Interstitial cystitis biomarkers could lead to the first test and to new therapies


Researchers at University of Pittsburgh have isolated two biomarkers for interstitial cystitis ( IC ).

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 700,000 Americans have interstitial cystitis; 90 percent are women.
Interstitial cystitis is one of the chronic pelvic pain disorders, defined by recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and surrounding pelvic region.
Symptoms vary and can include any combination of mild to severe pain, pressure and tenderness in the bladder and pelvic area; and an urgent and/or frequent need to urinate.
In interstitial cystitis, the bladder wall may become scarred or irritated, and pinpoint bleeding may appear on the bladder wall.

The discovery of these biomarkers could lead to a definitive test for interstitial cystitis and have the potential to lead to new therapies.

" Finding a marker for interstitial cystitis can not only make developing an early test, but it can lead to new targeted molecular therapies for the condition," said Fernando de Miguel, at University of Pittsburgh - School of Medicine.

In the first study, titled " Identification of Nuclear Proteins in the Chronic Cystitic Rat Model ", researchers used a proteomic approach to identify specific markers related to interstitial cystitis.
By comparing protein expression in the bladder tissue of two animal models of interstitial cystitis to expression in the tissue of a normal animal, the researchers found three nuclear proteins that were unique to the animals with interstitial cystitis .
Using protein mass fingerprinting, the proteins were identified as transgelin ( SM-22 ), ras suppressor protein ( RSU-1 ) and GAPDH.

In the second study, titled " Time-point Study of the Regulation of Nuclear Protein SM-22 ( Transgelin ) in the Rat Cystitis Model ",the researchers expanded their investigation into the expression of SM-22 in both normal and IC-model bladders.
The bladders were instilled with hydrochloric acid; tissue was analyzed at one, four, seven, 13 and 28 days after instillation. After day one and day four, there was a noticeable down-regulation of SM-22 in the IC-model bladders; by day 28, there was a reduction by 31 percent of the SM-22 in the diseased models.

The early down-regulation of SM-22, evident as early as day one, shows that the absence of SM-22 can potentially be used as an early diagnostic marker for interstitial cystitis.
Researchers plan to conduct more research into SM-22 to determine the protein's functional role, which could lead the way to future molecular-targeted therapies.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 700,000 Americans have interstitial cystitis; 90 percent are women.
Interstitial cystitis is one of the chronic pelvic pain disorders, defined by recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and surrounding pelvic region.
Symptoms vary and can include any combination of mild to severe pain, pressure and tenderness in the bladder and pelvic area; and an urgent and/or frequent need to urinate.
In interstitial cystitis, the bladder wall may become scarred or irritated, and pinpoint bleeding may appear on the bladder wall.

Source: 100th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association ( AUA ), 2005

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