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Recent Advances in the Biology of the Urothelium and Applications for Urinary Bladder Dysfunction

Call for Papers

The urinary bladder is an organ for short-term storage of urine. Therefore it has to be adapted to constant distension-contraction cycles and it has to constantly prevent waste substances of urine to reenter the circulatory system. In mammals, the urinary bladder wall is comprised of adventitia, detrusor muscle, submucosa, and mucosa, which in turn consists of the lamina propria and the urothelium. It is the urothelium that acts as the permeability barrier. This tight barrier mainly depends on the unique structure of the apical plasma membrane of superficial cells, called umbrella cells, to tight junctions between them. The traditional way of looking at the urothelium as a simple barrier is now challenged by numerous findings showing that the urothelium may also sense changes in the extracellular environment and transduce signals to nerves and muscles in the bladder wall. Highly differentiated normal urothelium is a very stable tissue, but it has a great capacity for quick regeneration when challenged by mechanical or chemical stimuli.

Different diseases affecting the urinary bladder and causing bladder dysfunction may compromise the permeability barrier as well as disrupt the urothelial-associated sensory web. Knowledge and understanding of these processes will lead to improved therapeutic strategies. One of the potential strategies for treatment of several urologic diseases is tissue engineering, which aims to provide a temporary scaffold for repair of affected bladder tissue.

We invite investigators to contribute original research articles as well as review articles on structure, function, differentiation of the normal and pathological urinary bladder, and tissue engineering-based approaches for the treatment of bladder diseases. Focus is on and around the urothelium. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Urothelial cell differentiation
  • Membrane structure and traffic in urothelial cells
  • Permeability of the bladder wall
  • Molecular and morpho-functional aspect of bladder diseases
  • Receptors, channels, and signalling molecules in the urinary bladder
  • Urothelial impact on afferent signalling, efferent signalling, and detrusor activity
  • Development of scaffolds for bladder repair
  • Latest methodologies for analysing structure and function of bladder cells and tissues

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal’s Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:

Manuscript DueFriday, 28 February 2014
First Round of ReviewsFriday, 23 May 2014
Publication DateFriday, 18 July 2014

Lead Guest Editor

  • Rok Romih, Institute of Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Guest Editors

  • Michael Winder, Department of Pharmacology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Gilho Lee, Department of Urology, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Republic of Korea