Effect of Melatonin on Age Associated Changes in Guinea Pig Bladder Function

Pedro J. Gomez-Pinilla, Maria F. Gomez, Petter Hedlund, Karl Swärd, Per Hellstrand, Pedro J. Camello, María J. Pozo, Karl Erik Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The incidence of urinary incontinence increases with age but the cause and effect relationship between aging and altered bladder function is poorly understood. It was suggested that melatonin can ameliorate negative effects induced by aging by its free radical scavenging activity and its ability to decrease oxidative stress. We investigated the changes in bladder function evoked by aging and the possible benefits of melatonin treatment on age related bladder disturbances. Materials and Methods: Bladder function was assessed using cystometry in conscious, freely moving female guinea pigs. Animals were grouped according to age as young adults (4 months old) and senescents (18 to 20 months old). A group of senescent animals were treated with 2.5 mg kg-1 day-1 melatonin for 21 days. Results: Aging led to increased detrusor activity, as demonstrated by short micturition intervals, decreased bladder capacity and spontaneous contractions during the filling phase. During the voiding phase aged animals showed lower micturition pressures than young adults. Melatonin counteracted the cystometric changes in senescent animals and restored micturition parameters to those of young adults. Conclusions: These results show that in guinea pigs aging induces detrusor overactivity. Melatonin treatment improved age induced changes in bladder function. If similar effects can be demonstrated in humans, melatonin treatment may be a new approach to decrease the impact of age related bladder disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1558-1561
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • aging
  • bladder
  • guinea pigs
  • melatonin
  • urination disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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