Anticholinergic therapy for overactive bladder: A nicotinic modality?
Toler SM, Yohannes D, Lippiello PM, Chancellor MB. Med Hypotheses. 2013 Jul 5. pii: S0306-9877(13)00286-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.06.008. [Epub ahead of print]


Department of Clinical Pharmaceutical Sciences, Targacept, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC 27101, United States. Electronic address:


Until recently the treatment of Overactive Bladder (OAB) has primarily been aimed at mitigating hypercholinergic activity in the bladder via antagonism of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. However, antimuscarinic therapies have limited efficacy and significant side effects. It is now known that nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes are expressed in the urothelium and on afferent nerve fibers in the bladder, and it is believed that these receptors serve to communicate urgency and facilitate voiding function. This presents the opportunity for an alternative to the antimuscarinic approach, one which involves inhibition of nAChRs in the bladder that are chronically overstimulated by acetylcholine. Specifically, we hypothesize that an orally administered nAChR-selective inhibitor with extensive renal elimination will result in higher local concentrations in the bladder and lower systemic exposure than current therapies, representing a novel targeted approach to the treatment of OAB with a more favorable side effect profile.