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The journal of sexual medicine

Apocynin improves erectile function in diabetic rats through regulation of NADPH oxidase expression.


PMID 23088159

Abstract

Diabetes is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED). The proposed mechanisms responsible for diabetic ED are associated with an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, overactivity of RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase, as seen in experimental models of diabetic rats. The aim of this study was to investigate whether NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin can ameliorate Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes-related ED by reducing the ROS production and inhibiting the activity of RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway. The diabetic rats were treated with and without the NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin. Erectile responses were evaluated by determining mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) and intracavernosal pressure (ICP) with electrical stimulation of the cavernous nerve. Levels of mRNA expression were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Levels of protein expression were examined by Western Blot. ROS production was measured by dihydroethidium (DHE) staining and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances assay. The ratio of Maximum ICP-to-MAP (MaxICP/MAP) was significantly decreased in diabetic ED rats, compared to that of age-matched control rats (P < 0.05). Apocynin improved erectile function of diabetic rats (P < 0.05). Expression levels of RhoA (cytosol), nNOS and eNOS were reduced, compared to those of control rats (P < 0.05). Apocynin significantly elevated their expression levels in diabetic rats (P < 0.05). Expression levels of ROCK1, RhoA (membrane fraction), p-MYPT1 and NADPH oxidase subunits p47(phox) and p67(phox) were increased in diabetic rats when compared to those of control rats (P < 0.05), and it was observed that apocynin significantly reduced their expression levels in diabetic rats (P < 0.05). ROS production was increased in diabetic rats when compared to that of control rats (P < 0.05), the effect of apocynin was a reduction in the ROS production in diabetic rats (P < 0.05). NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin can ameliorate diabetes-related ED by reducing the ROS production and inhibiting the activity of RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway.