Nitric oxide is a potent relaxant of human and rabbit corpus cavernosum.

Journal Article (Academic article)

Nitric oxide (NO) caused a potent, marked, and transient relaxation of precontracted strips of corpus cavernosum isolated from humans and rabbits. The relaxation response elicited by NO was very similar to the relaxation evoked by electrical field stimulation via the nonadrenergic-noncholinergic pathway. Sodium nitroprusside, nitroglycerin, and S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine, which are nitrovasodilators known to generate NO, also caused marked concentration-dependent relaxation of corpus cavernosum. Relaxant responses to NO were enhanced by the cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase inhibitor M&B 22,948 and inhibited by oxyhemoglobin. Similarly, relaxation of corpus cavernosum in response to electrical field stimulation or acetylcholine was enhanced by M&B 22,948 and inhibited by oxyhemoglobin. NO stimulated cyclic GMP formation in corpus cavernosum and a close positive correlation was found between the magnitudes of relaxation and cyclic GMP formation. The data suggest that NO-elicited activation of guanylate cyclase and cyclic GMP formation represents the signal transduction mechanism responsible for relaxation and nonadrenergic-noncholinergic-mediated penile erection. These observations indicate that NO is a potent relaxant of human and rabbit corpus cavernosum and support our hypothesis that endogenous NO is the principal mediator of penile erection caused by nonadrenergic-noncholinergic stimulation.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bush, PA; Aronson, WJ; Buga, GM; Rajfer, J; Ignarro, LJ

Published Date

  • June 1992

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 147 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1650 - 1655

PubMed ID

  • 1317469

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-5347


  • English