Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 72 (3), 231-240 (1996)

Comparison of Neurogenic Contraction and Relaxation in Canine Corpus Cavernosum and Penile Artery and Vein

Hideshi Hayashida (1), Hiroshi Fujimoto (2), Kazuhide Yoshida (1), Tadao Tomoyoshi (2), Tomio Okamura (1) and Noboru Toda (1,*)

Departments of (1) Pharmacology and (2) Urology, Shiga University of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Seta, Ohtsu 520-21, Japan (*) To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Abstract: Functional roles of autonomic efferent nerves were compared in the isolated canine corpus cavernosum, penile artery and penile vein that participate in the penile erection by changing blood distribution. Nicotine produced moderate contraction in the arterial strips, but only a slight or no contraction in the corpus and venous strips. The contraction was suppressed or reversed to a relaxation by prazosin. Under alpha1-adrenoceptor blockade, relaxations induced by nicotine were in the order of the corpus > artery >> vein. The response was abolished by NG-nitro-L-arginine (L-NA) and restored by L-arginine. The responses to nicotine and exogenous nitric oxide (NO) were abolished by oxyhemoglobin. The relaxant response to transmural electrical stimulation at 5 Hz was greater in the corpus than venous strips treated with prazosin, and it was abolished by L-NA. Contractions caused by nicotine under treatment with L-NA were greater in the artery than in the vein and corpus. Histochemical studies demonstrated nerve fibers containing NO synthase and tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the corpus cavernosum, artery and vein. It is concluded that the canine corpus cavernosum, penile artery and penile vein are innervated by adrenergic, vasoconstrictor and nitroxidergic, vasodilator nerves; neurogenic vasodilatation is predominant in the corpus muscle, whereas neurogenic vasoconstriction predominates in the artery. Such a different functioning of the nerves may be responsible for the penile erection.

Keywords: Nerve-derived nitric oxide, Adrenergic nerve, Corpus cavernosum, Penile vein, Penile erection

Copyright© The Japanese Pharmacological Society 1996

[Back to TOC]