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 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


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.