INComb News

The INComb project, “Combating incontinence” (, was initiated, with the aims of establishing a better understanding of the pathogenesis of bladder overactivity, improving diagnostic tests and developing novel intervention strategies. The urinary bladder is a complex organ where different cell types and tissues influence the filling and emptying of urine.
The project has addressed objectives related to the communication between the different cell types and has developed novel techniques to measure signalling components in urinary bladder tissue. Factors involved in OAB, mainly the communication between the inner lining of the urinary bladder (urothelium), the sensory nerves, the smooth muscle and other cell types were examined. “Interstitial cells” have been identified as modulating the contractile activity of the bladder wall and the project has analyzed their structure and localization in animal urinary bladders and in normal and diseased human bladders.
The results describe their changes in different pathological conditions and have also revealed novel receptors on the interstitial cells that potentially can be used in diagnostics or for targeted therapy. The groups have examined the mechanisms and structural effects of botulinum toxin in the human bladder wall and provide new information regarding the mechanisms involved in the beneficial effects of botulinum toxin treatments in OAB. We have shown that TRPV1 and related receptors can be influenced by specific chemical compounds, suggesting a possible new therapeutic approach. New biomarkers associated with growth factors and novel links between bladder activity and pain signalling have been identified. INComb partners have also applied biobanking studies and analyzed protein expression in the bladder wall and genetic information directly linked to human bladder function.

INComb participants have published 60 full scientific papers, 39 reviews, several theses and reports and 81 conference abstracts as the result of this project. Several further studies will be reported in the near future. Internal scientific meetings and an international conference, (“Urinary incontinence – from basic science to clinical practice”, Stockholm June 2011: a joint symposium between INComb, the EU project TRUST, the Swedish Enuresis Academy SEA and with support from the European Association for Urology) have been organized.

INComb scientists have performed extensive dissemination activities including interactions with patient organisations, television and news paper interviews. Several new mechanisms of potential therapeutic and diagnostic value are identified.



Urinary incontinence – from basic science to clinical practice

A Joint Symposium organized by INComb, TRUST and SEA with support from the European Association for Urology

Time: June 8-11, 2011
Place: van der Nootska Palatset, Stockholm, Sweden

REGISTRATION DEAD-LINE (limited seats and hotel rooms): April 25



Abstract form:


Wednesday June 8
11.00-13.00        Registration
12.00-13.00        Lunch
13.00-13.10        Introduction
                             - A. Arner (INComb), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
13.10 – 16.00    Session I: The clinical problem, control of voiding and   pharmacological interventions
Chair: C. Fowler & C. Chapple
20 min presentations + 5-10 min discussions
Clinical conditions, current therapeutic options and translational challenges 
- C. Chapple (TRUST), Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, UK
Neurogenic control of the lower urinary tract
 - W.C. de Groat (Invited), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
14.15 – 14.45     Coffee break and first glance at posters
Purine signalling in the lower urinary tract
- G. Burnstock (Invited), University College Medical School, London, UK
Pharmacological treatment of overactive bladder – what can we hope to achieve?
- K-E. Andersson (Invited), Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA      
16.00                   Welcome reception


Thursday June 9

09.00 – 15.00    Session IIa: Regulation of urinary bladder function
Chair: F. Cruz & M. Drake
20 min presentations + 5-10 min discussions

Normal structure and regeneration of the bladder innervation
- B. Uvelius (INComb), University of Lund, Sweden

Afferent nerve activity from the lower urinary tract
- J.J. Wyndaele (TRUST), University Antwerp and Antwerp, University Hospital, UZA, Edegem, Belgium

Interstitial cell function in the urinary tract
- K. McCloskey (INComb), Queens University, Belfast, UK

10.30 – 11.00    Coffee break

Phenotypic characterization of upper lamina propria interstitial cells in bladders from patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity and bladder pain syndrome.
- D. de Ridder (TRUST), KU Leuven, Experimental Urology, Leuven, Belgium

Urothelial signaling
- L.A. Birder (Invited), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Sensory mechanisms in the bladder
- D. Daly (TRUST), University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

12.30 – 13.30      Lunch

13.30-15.00       Session IIb: Regulation of urinary bladder function (continuing)Chair: C. Cruz & C.Maake
20 min presentations + 5-10 min discussions

Pharmacology of the bladder, parallels with the gastro-intestinal tract
- D. Grundy (TRUST), University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

TRPV4, an emerging player in bladder (patho)physiology
- M. Boudes (TRUST), DKU Leuven, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Leuven, Belgium
Neurophysiology of the rat bladder, stimulation and recording of afferents
- E. van Asselt (TRUST), Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

15.00 – 16.00    Poster session and coffee break

16.00 – 17.30    Session III: The detrusor smooth muscle
Chair: K. McCloskey & D. Grundy
20 min presentations + 5-10 min discussions

Membrane properties of interstitial and smooth muscle cells
- C. Fry (INComb), University of Surrey, UK

 Cell signaling and contraction of the detrusor muscle
- A. Arner (INComb), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Gene expression changes in the detrusor muscle of patients with outlet obstruction
- C. Maake (INComb), Institute of Anatomy, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.

Friday June 10

09.00 – 12.00    Session IV: Receptors, neurotrophins, diagnostic tools and therapeutic targets
Chair:L.Birder & A.Avelino
20 min presentations + 5-10 min discussions

TRPV1 (vanilloid receptor) in the urinary tract: expression, function and clinical applications
- A. Avelino (INComb), Faculty of Medicine of Porto, Porto, Portugal

 Neurotrophins: regulating bladder function and potential use in diagnostics and therapy
- C. Cruz (INComb); Faculty of Medicine of Porto, Porto, Portugal

 Muscarinic and adrenergic receptors in the lower urinary tract
- P. Ochodnicky (INComb), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

 10.30 – 11.00    Coffee break

 Botulinum toxin in urology - clinical use and basic mechanisms
- C. Fowler (INComb), University College London, UK

Sacral nerve stimulation for neuromodulation of the lower urinary tract
- G. van Koeveringe (TRUST), University Hospital of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands

12.00-13.00       Lunch

13.00 – 15.00    Session V: Polyuric conditions and nighttime voiding dysfunctions
Chair: C.Fry & JP. Norgaard
20 min presentations + 5-10 min discussions

Clinical and pathophysiologic factors – Contemporary update
- A. Wein (Invited), University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA

Nocturia:  Time to Wake Up To the Seriousness of the Problem
- R. Rosen (Invited), New England Research Institutes, Watertown, MA, USA

Diagnosis and management of nocturnal enuresis in children
- T. Nevéus (SEA), Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Bladder function in healthy neonates and its development during infancy
- U. Sillén (SEA), Department of Paediatric Surgery/Urology Section, Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, Gothenburgh, Sweden

15.00 – 15.30     Poster session and Coffee break

15.30 -18.30      Session VI: Linking clinical urology and basic research
Chair: A.Arner & T. Nevéus
20 min presentations + 5-10 min discussions

Integrating basic research and clinical practice
- M. Drake (TRUST), North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK.

Training young urologists in translational research in urology
- P. Radziszewski (TRUST), Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Biomarkers in assays of bladder function
- F. Cruz (INComb), Faculty of Medicine of Porto, Porto, Portugal

17.00         Short break

The Health programwithin the 7th European Framework Program on  Research and Technological Development
- M. Davies, Head of Grants Office, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Ethical issues in research of human samples
- H. John (INComb), Kantonsspital Winterthur, Zuerich, Switzerland

Clinical sub classification of BOO patients in a gene expression profiling study
- M. Horstmann (INComb), Kantonsspital Winterthur, Zuerich, Switzerland

18.30                     Bus transport
19.00-23.00         Boat trip with dinner

Saturday June 11

09.30 – 12.00    Session VII: Urinary incontinence:Reconstructive surgery and future perspectives
Chair: C.Chapple & K-E. Andersson

Reconstructive surgery for refractory overactive bladder
- R. Peeker (Invited),Department of Urology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden

10.00 – 10.30    Coffee break

Lecture towards the general public
- M. Fall (Invited),Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrens Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

11.00-12.00       Panel discussion: Will there be a cure or effective treatment of incontinence and overactive bladder?
- C. Chapple, WC. deGroat, K-E. Andersson and others

End of the meeting

12.00 – 13.00    Lunch