Overactive bladder (OAB) is a common debilitating bladder condition with unknown etiology and limited diagnostic modalities. Here, we explored a novel highthroughput and unbiased multiplex approach with cellular and molecular components in a well-characterized patient cohort to identify biomarkers that could be reliably used to distinguish OAB from controls or provide insights into underlying etiology. As a secondary analysis, we determined whether this method could discriminate between OAB and other chronic bladder conditions. We analyzed plasma samples from healthy volunteers (n = 19) and patients diagnosed with OAB, interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS), or urinary tract infections (UTI; n = 51) for proinflammatory, chemokine, cytokine, angiogenesis, and vascular injury factors using Meso Scale Discovery (MSD) analysis and urinary cytological analysis. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used to perform univariate and multivariate comparisons between patient groups (controls, OAB, IC/BPS, and UTI). Multivariate logistic regression models were fit for each MSD analyte on 1) OAB patients and controls, 2) OAB and IC/BPS patients, and 3) OAB and UTI patients. Age, race, and sex were included as independent variables in all multivariate analysis. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated to determine the diagnostic potential of a given analyte. Our findings demonstrate that five analytes, i.e., interleukin 4, TNF-α, macrophage inflammatory protein-1β, serum amyloid A, and Tie2 can reliably differentiate OAB relative to controls and can be used to distinguish OAB from the other conditions. Together, our pilot study suggests a molecular imbalance in inflammatory proteins may contribute to OAB pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F28-F34
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Biomarkers
  • Bladder pain syndrome
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • OAB
  • UTI


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