Urotensin II: a novel target in human corpus cavernosum

Roberta d'Emmanuele di Villa Bianca, Giuseppe Cirino, Emma Mitidieri, Ciro Coletta, Gianluca Grassia, Fiorentina Roviezzo, Paolo Grieco, Ettore Novellino, Ciro Imbimbo, Vincenzo Mirone, Raffaella Sorrentino
Journal of Sexual Medicine 2010, 7 (5): 1778-86

INTRODUCTION: Urotensin II (U-II) is a cyclic peptide originally isolated from the teleost neurosecretory system and subsequently identified in other species, including man. U-II was identified as the natural ligand of an orphan G-protein coupled receptor (UT receptor). U-II and UT receptor are expressed in a variety of peripheral organs and especially in cardiovascular tissue. U-II caused both constrictor and vasodilator effect, depending by vascular bed. The in vivo functional consequences of U-II on the cardiovascular hemodynamics are not clearly understood.

AIM: To investigate the presence of UT receptor and the effect of U-II in human corpus cavernosum (HCC) strips. To evaluate the effect of U-II in vivo in anesthetized rats.

METHODS: UT receptor expression as protein and as mRNA were assessed by Western blot and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Next, the UT receptor localization was evaluated by immunohistochemical analysis. By using HCC strips, with or without endothelium, the effect of U-II (0.1 nM-10 microM) was evaluated. In order to asses the nitric oxide (NO) involvement, the strips were incubated with N (G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (NO synthase inhibitor, 100 microM). U-II (0.1, 0.3, 1.0 nmol/rat) effect in vivo was studied in anesthetized rats by monitoring the intracavernous and systemic blood pressure.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: HCC expresses the UT receptor and its activation, by UII, causes an endothelium- and NO-dependent relaxation.

RESULTS: UT receptor is expressed in human and rat corpus cavernosum. In HCC UT receptor is localized on endothelial cells. U-II significantly relaxed HCC strips in endothelium- and -NO-dependent fashion. The peptide caused a significant increase in intracavernous pressure in anesthetized rats.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that UT receptor is expressed on the endothelium of HCC. U-II/UT receptor system is involved in HCC function and it involves endothelium and NO pathway. Thus, U-II/UT receptor pathway could be involved in erectile function.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"