The findings may someday yield new therapies to help children who involuntarily wet the bed or adults who frequently wake up at night to urinate, researchers said.
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New research shows that the body's internal clock controls the production of a key protein that helps regulate the bladder's capacity to hold urine before needing to empty.
"In certain conditions there may be a derangement of the circadian rhythm so that the wrong amount of [the protein] is produced at the wrong time of day," Andrea Meredith, an assistant professor of physiology at the University of Maryland who was not involved in the study, told LiveScience.
By targeting the protein, called connexin43, researchers may be able to induce the correct amount of the protein at the right times, she said.
Previous research has shown that mice with an increased amount of connexin43 have a lower functional bladder capacity — that is, their bladders require less liquid before it triggers the need to pee.
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