Defining Molecular Treatment Targets for Bladder Pain Syndrome/Interstitial Cystitis: Uncovering Adhesion Molecules

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Inal-Gultekin G., Gormez Z., MANGIR N.

FRONTIERS IN PHARMACOLOGY, vol.13, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3389/fphar.2022.780855
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: gene expression, adhesion molecules, targeted treatment, rare urinary disease, bioinformatics, GENE-EXPRESSION, MAST-CELLS, RECEPTOR, FIBROSIS, CRITERIA, ENRICHR, DISEASE, TISSUE
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (BPS/IC) is a debilitating pain syndrome of unknown etiology that predominantly affects females. Clinically, BPS/IC presents in a wide spectrum where all patients report severe bladder pain together with one or more urinary tract symptoms. On bladder examination, some have normal-appearing bladders on cystoscopy, whereas others may have severely inflamed bladder walls with easily bleeding areas (glomerulations) and ulcerations (Hunner's lesion). Thus, the reported prevalence of BPS/IC is also highly variable, between 0.06% and 30%. Nevertheless, it is rightly defined as a rare disease (ORPHA:37202). The aetiopathogenesis of BPS/IC remains largely unknown. Current treatment is mainly symptomatic and palliative, which certainly adds to the suffering of patients. BPS/IC is known to have a genetic component. However, the genes responsible are not defined yet. In addition to traditional genetic approaches, novel research methodologies involving bioinformatics are evaluated to elucidate the genetic basis of BPS/IC. This article aims to review the current evidence on the genetic basis of BPS/IC to determine the most promising targets for possible novel treatments.