Laboratory Forum: Rat as an Animal Model for Male Erectile Function Evaluation in Sexual Medicine Research

Authors

  • Neal Mehta BS,

    1. Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, California, USA; Veterans Medical Research Foundation, La Jolla, CA, USA;
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Suresh Sikka PhD,

    1. Department of Urology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mahadevan Rajasekaran PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, California, USA; Veterans Medical Research Foundation, La Jolla, CA, USA;
    Search for more papers by this author

Mahadevan Rajasekaran, PhD, University of California, San Diego and Veterans Medical Research Foundation, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, Room #6141, San Diego, CA 92161, USA. Tel: 858-552-8585 x7114; Fax: 858-642-1602; E-mail: mrajasek@ucsd.edu

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  Animal models have contributed, to a great extent, to our understanding and advancement in the field of sexual medicine. Many current medical and surgical therapies in sexual medicine are the direct result of the development of such animal models. Over the past 15–20 years, rodents have become the premier models for such studies. In particular, the rat model provided the most valuable and reproducible investigations that significantly contributed to our knowledge of male sexual dysfunction as well as in the development of various treatment modalities. In addition, such in vivo animal models helped us develop the latest biotechnological tools that allowed numerous investigations at the cellular and molecular levels.

Aim.  Review the most common laboratory techniques that employ rat model for the evaluation of male erectile function and erectile tissue end-organ analyses.

Methods.  Review of peer-reviewed literature.

Main Outcome Measures.  Pathophysiology and laboratory research outcome correlation.

Results.  The review suggests that rat is a versatile model in sexual medicine research.

Conclusions.  This versatile model should help in the further development of research tools, characterize additional signaling target molecules and pathways, and help in our understanding of male sexual dysfunction. Mehta N, Sikka S, and Rajasekaran M. Rat as an animal model for male erectile function evaluation in sexual medicine research. J Sex Med 2008;5:1278–1283.

Ancillary