Paper Information

Title: 

NEW INSIGHTS INTO THE ERECTILE FUNCTION

Type: PAPER
Author(s): DEHPOUR A.R.,GHASEMI M.
 
 
 
Name of Seminar: IRANIAN CONGRESS OF PHYSIOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY
Type of Seminar:  CONGRESS
Sponsor:  PHYSIOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY SOCIETY, MASHHAD UNIVERSITY OF MEDICAL SCIENCE
Date:  2007Volume 18
 
 
Abstract: 

Penile erection is a neurovascular event that comprises increased arterial inflow and restricted venous outflow from the penis, coordinated by relaxation of the penile corpus cavernosum. It is well known that nitric oxide (NO) is the most important factor mediating relaxation of corpus cavernosum and penile erection, which is mainly, derived from nonadrenergic noncholinergic (NANC) nerves within this tissue. However, the physiological aspects of these events have not been completely understood. In this regard, we have recently demonstrated that endogenous cannabinoids could enhance the neurogenic relaxation of rat corporal tissue via involving cannabinoid CB1 and vanilloid VR1 receptors and involving the NO pathway. We also showed the existence of these types of receptors within the tissue by using western blotting. In the next experiments, we also showed that besides the physiological role, this system may be involved in some pathophysiological conditions affecting the erectile function. For instance, in our experiments it was revealed that in the model of biliary cirrhosis the NANC-mediated relaxation of rat corpus cavernosum was enhanced and the enhancement was inhibited by CB1 or VR1 antagonists, suggesting that endocannabinoid system is involved in the effect of cirrhosis on erectile function. In another study, we also demonstrated that this system can be as a pharmacological target for improving the erectile dysfunction resulted from the diabetic condition. By using the model of streptozocin-induced diabetes in rats we showed that anandamade, an endogenous cannabinoid, could enhance the NO-mediated neurogenic relaxation of corpus cavernosum which had been decreased in diabetic rats. Based on our study, we for the first time demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system may play a crucial role in the physiology of erection and might be involved in some pathophysiological conditions affecting erection.

 
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