JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Expressions of NOS isoforms in the cavernous tissues of diabetic rat models]

Le-shen Yao, Yang-tian Wang, Yun Chen, Yu-tian Dai
Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue, National Journal of Andrology 2009, 15 (10): 915-9
20112741

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the mechanism of diabetic erectile dysfunction (ED) and find new methods for its treatment by detecting the changes in nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms and erectile function of diabetic rats and observing the effects of insulin and alpha-lipoic acid (LA) on it.

METHODS: Fifty male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into Groups A (normal control, n=10), B (non-intervention diabetes mellitus, n=13), C (insulin intervention diabetes mellitus, n=12), and D (insulin + LA intervention, n=15). And the diabetic models were made by intraperitoneal injection of streptozocin (STZ). Eight weeks later, the erectile function of the rats was assessed following apomorphine injection and the contents of NOS isoforms in the erectile tissues measured by immunohistochemical staining.

RESULTS: All the rats of Group A showed a normal erectile function (100%). In comparison, those in Groups B, C and D exhibited a significantly decreased rate, 28.6% in Group B, 62.5% in Group C and 80.9% in Group D. The numbers of positive nNOS fibers and eNOS in the penile tissues per visual field were 86.7 and 9.6 in Group A, but only 36.5 and 3.3 in Group B, 52.7 and 5.7 in Group C, and 71.4 and 7.4 in Group D (P < 0.05). However, the expression of iNOS was significantly lower in Group A (6.9) than in Groups B (43.6), C (36.2) and D (19.3) (P < 0.05). Compared with Groups B and C, the erectile function and the expressions of nNOS and eNOS were markedly increased, while the expression of iNOS significantly decreased in Group D (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Diabetes mellitus severely affects penile erectile function and the expressions of NOS isoforms in the cavernous tissues, for which hyperglycemia is mainly responsible. LA is proved obviously efficacious for diabetic ED, which might be related to its antioxidant effect.

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