Scandinavian journal of urology

Effects of insulin-like growth factor-1 on the relaxation responses of the cavernous smooth muscle from aged rats.

PMID 25854820


The aim of this study was determine whether intracavernosal injection (ICI) of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) protein can improve corpus cavernosal smooth muscle relaxation in aging rats. Ten young (4-month-old) and 30 old (24-month-old) Sprague-Dawley male rats were enrolled in the study. The old rats were divided into three groups: vehicle-only (n = 10), IGF-1 1 µg/kg (n = 10) and IGF-1 10 µg/kg treatment groups (n = 10). After 4 weeks of single IGF-1 injection treatment, strips of corporal tissue were precontracted with phenylephrine, and dose-response curves were generated to evaluate endothelial-dependent [acetylcholine (ACh)], endothelial-independent [sodium nitroprusside (SNP)] and electrical field stimulation (EFS) vasoreactivity. The changes in percentage of cavernosal smooth muscle and the concentration of nitric oxide (NO) in penile tissue were also evaluated. After IGF-1 treatment, the vasoreactivity was significantly improved in both the 1 µg/kg and the 10 µg/kg treatment groups compared with the vehicle-only group at 4 weeks in response to ACh, SNP and EFS (all p < 0.05). The percentage of cavernosal smooth muscle was increased in the IGF-1 treatment groups. The NO concentrations were increased after IGF-1 treatment. These data demonstrate that ICI of IGF-1 can improve vasoreactivity via endothelium-dependent and endothelial-independent mechanisms in the corpus cavernosum of the aging rat.