Increased expression of non-muscle myosin heavy chain-B in connective tissue cells of hypertrophic rat urinary bladder


  • R. Sjuve
  • H. Haase
  • E. Ekblad
  • U. Malmqvist
  • I. Morano
  • A. Arner


  • Cell and Tissue Research


  • Cell Tissue Res 304 (2): 271-278


  • Expression of the non-muscle myosin heavy chain-B (NM-MHC-B, also denoted as the embryonic smooth muscle myosin heavy chain, SMemb) was examined in rat urinary bladder during growth in response to a partial urinary outflow obstruction. Following obstruction, the weight of the urinary bladder increased more than five-fold within 10 days. Immunohistochemistry with a polyclonal antiserum against the C-terminal sequence of NM-MHC-B revealed very few NM-MHC-B immunoreactive cells in the control urinary bladders. In hypertrophic bladders, the number of NM-MHC-B immunoreactive cells markedly increased. The majority of such cells were found in the interstitium surrounding smooth muscle bundles and also in the subserosal and submucosal layers. Western blot analysis showed that the NM-MHC-B expression was transient; the content of NM-MHC-B immunoreactive material had doubled 10 days after obstruction and then declined towards the control level after 6 weeks. Immunohistochemistry revealed co-localization of NM-MHC-B and vimentin within the same cells. NM-MHC-B did not co-localize with smooth muscle actin, suggesting that the source of NM-MHC-B is not a de-differentiated smooth muscle cell or myofibroblast but a non-muscle cell possibly reacting to tissue distension or stress. The NM-MHC-B-positive cells could have a role in the production of extracellular matrix and growth factors or be involved in modulation of spontaneous contractile activity.