Improvement of penile neurogenic and endothelial relaxant responses by chronic administration of resveratrol in rabbits exposed to unpredictable chronic mild stress

Yazır Y. , Utkan T. , Demirtaş Şahin T. , Gocmez S. S.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF IMPOTENCE RESEARCH, vol.30, pp.163-170, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/s41443-018-0016-8
  • Page Numbers: pp.163-170


Chronic stress is an important public health problem known as a risk factor for depression, cognitive deficits, and also erectile dysfunction (ED). Resveratrol, a plant polyphenol, was reported to activate constitutive endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Although resveratrol has been proven to exert beneficial effects on the unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS)-induced decline in cognitive functions, its potential protecting effect on the penile tissue subjected to UCMS was in fact not investigated. Therefore, restorative effects of resveratrol on neurogenic and endothelium-dependent relaxations were evaluated in the corpus cavernosum of rabbits exposed to UCMS. Eighteen male New Zealand white rabbits were assigned into three groups (n = 6 in each group): controls; UCMS; and UCMS rabbits treated with resveratrol (20 mg/kg/day, i.p.) for 12-week period of stress induction. UCMS was induced by a couple of defined adverse conditions applied in a shuffled order for 12 weeks. Neurogenic and endothelium-dependent relaxations of corpus cavernosum were assessed by using organ bath studies. Both the electrical field stimulation (EFS)-induced neurogenic and carbachol-induced endothelium-dependent relaxant responses significantly decreased in physiological stress and resveratrol treatment exhibited a marked improvement in these relaxation responses in vitro. Our results indicated that chronic psychological stress could lead to ED by reducing neurogenic and endothelium-dependent relaxations and resveratrol prevents impairment of the functional responses, suggesting a potential new treatment approach for treatment of ED during psychological stress.