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Keywords:

  • Diabetes mellitus;
  • erectile dysfunction;
  • myocardin;
  • penile corpus cavernosum smooth muscle;
  • serum response factor

Summary

This study aimed to investigate the expression of myocardin and serum response factor (SRF) in the cavernous tissue of diabetic rats. The experimental diabetes model was induced in 8-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats (200–220 g) by a single administration of streptozotocin. Both the diabetes mellitus group (DM group, n = 20) and the control group (NDM group, n = 10) were injected with a low dose of apomorphine to allow for the measurement and comparison of the corresponding penile erections. Western blot and qRT-PCR were used to determine the protein and mRNA expression levels of myocardin and SRF. Erectile function was significantly decreased in the DM group compared with the control group (< 0.001). The mRNA and protein expression levels of myocardin and SRF were reduced in the cavernous tissue of diabetic rats compared with the control group (< 0.001). It is concluded that diabetes inhibits the mRNA and protein expression of both myocardin and SRF in the cavernous tissue. This could play a key role in the development of erectile dysfunction in diabetic rats.