Background Testosterone is believed to mediate the penile erectile response by producing adequate nitric oxide; therefore, testosterone deficiency results in erectile dysfunction through decreased nitric oxide bioavailability. However, the mechanisms underlying endothelial dysfunction in testosterone deficiency remain unclear. Aim To investigate the mechanism of endothelial dysfunction in a rat model of testosterone deficiency. Methods Rats were distributed into 3 groups: castrated (Cast), castrated and supplemented with testosterone (Cast + T), and sham (Sham). In the Cast + T group, castrated rats were treated daily with subcutaneous testosterone (3 mg/kg daily) for 4 weeks; Sham and Cast rats received only the vehicle. Outcomes Erectile function using intracavernosal pressure and mean arterial pressure measurements after electrical stimulation of the cavernous nerve, endothelial function using isometric tension, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) levels using ultra-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry, and inflammatory biomarker expression were performed 4 weeks after the operation. Results In the Cast group, the ratio of intracavernosal pressure to mean arterial pressure significantly decreased, acetylcholine-induced relaxation was lower, and serum ADMA, oxidative stress, and inflammation biomarker levels were significantly increased (P <.01). Testosterone injection significantly improved each of these parameters (P <.01). Clinical Translation The present results provide scientific evidence of the effect of testosterone deficiency on erectile function and the effect of testosterone replacement therapy. Strengths and Limitations This study provides evidence of the influence of testosterone deficiency on endothelial function by investigating ADMA and oxidative stress. A major limitation of this study is the lack of a direct link of increased ADMA by oxidative stress to inflammation. Conclusion Testosterone deficiency increased not only ADMA levels but also oxidative stress and inflammation in castrated rats, which can cause damage to the corpus cavernosum, resulting in erectile dysfunction. Kataoka T, Hotta Y, Maeda Y, Kimura K. Testosterone Deficiency Causes Endothelial Dysfunction via Elevation of Asymmetric Dimethylarginine and Oxidative Stress in Castrated Rats. J Sex Med 2017;14:1540–1548.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Reproductive Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Psychiatry and Mental health