Aim: To discuss animal models of lower urinary tract disorders (LUTD) and their translational impact.
Methods: Report of discussions based on presented literature-search based reviews relevant for the purpose.
Results: Animal models can be used to investigate fundamental biological mechanisms, but also as tools to elucidate aspects of the pathogenesis of disease and to provide early evidence of any safety risk. Several different models may be required to obtain information that can have a translational impact. The term “translational research” covers not only the process of directly transferring knowledge from basic sciences to human trials to produce new drugs, devices, and treatment options for patients (T1 type translation) but also the implementation of early clinical research findings (phases I-III) into practice to improve care for patients (T2 type). Direct transfer of animal data to T2 is rarely possible, and the process often does not continue after the first trials in humans (phase I). It should be emphasized that many preclinical observations do not have (and do not need to have) immediate translational impact.
Conclusions: No single animal model can mimic the complexity of the human disease. Still, animal models can be useful for gaining information on LUT function in humans, for elucidating pathophysiological mechanisms, and for the definition of targets for future drugs to treat LUT disorders.