The surgical management of classical bladder exstrophy (functional bladder closure or urinary diversion) should be influenced by the inherent detrusor function of the exstrophied bladder. Cystometrograms performed previously on individuals with successful exstrophy closures demonstrate normal bladder function. The biochemical and neurophysiological properties of the exstrophied bladder have otherwise not been investigated. In this study radioligand receptor binding techniques were used to compare the density and equilibrium dissociation constant of muscarinic cholinergic receptors in control and exstrophy bladders. The density of muscarinic cholinergic receptors in the control and exstrophy groups was 1.97 plus or minus 0.29 and 1.44 plus or minus 0.21 fmol. per μg. deoxyribonucleic acid (mean plus or minus standard error of mean), respectively. The dissociation constant of the control and exstrophy groups was 0.15 plus or minus 0.02 and 0.14 plus or minus 0.02 nM. (mean plus or minus standard error of mean), respectively. These data show that the muscarinic receptor density and binding affinity in control and exstrophy bladders are similar. Therefore, the neurophysiological composition of the exstrophied bladder is not grossly altered during the anomalous development.
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