Vincristine (VCR) is one of the most common chemotherapy agents used in pediatric oncology. Despite the well-known VCR-induced peripheral neuropathy, potential impacts of VCR on lower urinary tract (LUT) function remain poorly defined. We investigated the effects of systemic VCR exposure in childhood on LUT function by using juvenile mice treated with VCR (4 mg/kg) or saline and evaluated at 5 weeks later. VCR induced a decreased urinary frequency with increased functional bladder capacity and non-void contractions. There were no changes in detrusor contractility between the groups. VCR exposure caused sexual dimorphic changes; in females, increased intravesical pressure at micturition and downregulations of a major player in bladder afferent firing, Htr3b, in the bladders, and Cav1.2 in the lumbosacral dorsal root ganglia (Ls-DRG), while male mice displayed increases in bladder compliance and detrusor activity, upregulations of IL-2, Trpa1 and Itga1 in the bladders and neuroinflammation-related genes, P2×4, P2×7, IL-2 and CD68 in the Ls-DRG. These results suggest that that systemic VCR exposure caused sensory neuropathy via sex-dimorphic mechanisms, leading to altered LUT function. These changes might clinically present as gender-specific signs or symptoms of LUT dysfunction, and follow-up urological assessment may be of benefit for pediatric cancer patients treated with VCR.
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