DMSO is used as a treatment for interstitial cystitis and this study examined the effects of luminal DMSO treatment on bladder function and histology. Porcine bladder was incubated without (controls) or with DMSO (50%) applied to the luminal surface and the release of ATP, acetylcholine, and LDH assessed during incubation and in tissues strips after DMSO incubation. Luminally applied DMSO caused ATP, Ach, and LDH release from the urothelial surface during treatment, with loss of urothelial layers also evident histologically. In strips of urothelium/lamina propria from DMSO pretreated bladders the release of both ATP and Ach was depressed, while contractile responses to carbachol were enhanced. Detrusor muscle contractile responses to carbachol were not affected by DMSO pretreatment, but neurogenic responses to electrical field stimulation were enhanced. The presence of an intact urothelium/lamina propria inhibited detrusor contraction to carbachol by 53% and this inhibition was significantly reduced in DMSO pretreated tissues. Detection of LDH in the treatment medium suggests that DMSO permeabilised urothelial membranes causing leakage of cytosolic contents including ATP and Ach rather than enhancing release of these mediators. The increase in contractile response and high levels of ATP are consistent with initial flare up in IC/PBS symptoms after DMSO treatment.