Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Neurological Sciences

Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Dr. Jaeda Coutinho-Budd

Second Advisor

Dr. Margaret A. Vizzard

Third Advisor

Dr. Nathan Jebbett


Mechanosensor, Neurogenic Bladder, Micturition Reflex


A commonly overlooked neurophysiological danger neonates face is infantile bladder dysfunction. Abnormalities in the micturition reflex of newborns can cause a multitude of detrimental symptomatic diseases including early onset urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections, underactive bladder function, enuresis, and renal failure. The pathophysiological etiologies of these disorders have been associated with urinary bladder tissue-localized protein disruption owing to deviations in regulated tension-modulating protein expression. The presence of mechanosensory proteins Piezo1 and Piezo2 in non-specified bladder tissue of neonatal mice as well as their functional roles in adult murine models have been suggested. In this study I evaluated and quantitively determined the relative genetic transcript expression of Piezo1 and Piezo2 specifically in the urothelial and detrusor smooth muscle layers of the urinary bladder in postnatal mice. Piezo1 and Piezo2 relative mRNA expression was determined using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) of complementary DNA (cDNA) transcripts. Piezo1 and Piezo2 plasticity in the mucosal tissue across postnatal development was ascertained. Heightened expression was observed in early stages of development with subsequent age- dependent decrease until complete subject maturation with statistical significance as follows: (1) Piezo1, postnatal day (P) 9 vs. P21, 28, and 36 (P < 0.05), (2) Piezo2, P6 vs. P28 (P < 0.05), P9 vs. P21 (P < 0.05), P9 vs. P28 (P < 0.001), and P9 vs. P36 (P < 0.01). Expression in the detrusor was discerned to be most prominent at the earliest stages of development and demonstrated diminishment by adulthood. Statistical significance was presented as follows: (1) Piezo1, P6 vs. P17 (P < 0.05), and P6 vs. P28 (P < 0.01), (2) Piezo2, no significance (NS). Elucidation of Piezo1 and Piezo2 presence transitionally across neonatal development provides a basis for further studies; my findings, optimistically, could precipitate future molecular and functional understandings of Piezo1 and Piezo2 relative to the maturation of the micturition reflex and the successive treatment and prevention of urinary abnormalities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.