Background: Because androgen replacement therapy (ART) is not performed immediately after the onset of androgen deficiency, the treatment is considered to be late. Aim: To investigate the effects of late ART, starting 4 weeks after castration of rats, on erectile function and structural changes in the corpus cavernosum. Methods: Rats were subjected to ART for 4 (Late-ART [4w]) or 8 (Late-ART [8w]) weeks. In either case, rats were assigned to the following groups: castrated (Cast), castrated with subcutaneous administration of testosterone (3 mg/kg/day; Cast+T), and sham (Sham). Cast + T rats received daily subcutaneous doses of testosterone starting 4 weeks after castration for 4 or 8 weeks whereas Sham and Cast rats received only the vehicle. Outcomes: Erectile function was assessed by evaluating intracavernosal pressure (ICP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) after electrical stimulation of the cavernous nerve, corporal veno-occlusive function using dynamic infusion cavernosometry, and histology using Masson's trichrome staining. Results: No increase in the ICP was observed in Cast+T rats in the Late-ART (4w) group (0.47 ± 0.02, P > .05), whereas, in Cast+T rats in the Late-ART (8w) group, there was a significant increase in the ICP/MAP ratio (0.60 ± 0.02, P < .05), drop rate, and smooth muscle/collagen ratio. Clinical Translation: The present study provides scientific evidence for the effect of late ART on erectile function. Strengths and Limitations: This study provides insights into the influence of late ART on erectile function through improvements in the structure of corpus cavernosum. The major limitation of this study is the difference in the time required for healing between the humans and rats, which might have a bearing on the translational relevenace of the results. Conclusions: Late ART could improve erectile function. However, as improvement requires a considerable time period, it is necessary to persist with therapy patiently for optimal results. Kataoka T, Hotta Y, Yamamoto Y, et al. Effect of Late Androgen Replacement Therapy on Erectile Function Through Structural Changes in Castrated Rats. Sex Med 2021;XX:XX–XXX.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Reproductive Medicine
- Behavioral Neuroscience