Evaluating the Role of the Serotoninergic System in the Control of Human Seminal Vesicle Smooth Muscle—An in Vitro Approach



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: ERRATA Volume 7, Issue 6, 2295, Article first published online: 1 June 2010

Stefan Ückert, PhD, Hannover Medical School, Department of Urology & Uro-Oncology, 30625 Hannover, Germany. Tel: +49 (0)511-5-32-34-37; Fax: +49 (0)511-5-32-84-37; E-mail: sue_de_99@yahoo.de


Introduction.  It has been suggested that serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SRIs) may retard the ejaculatory response by acting directly on the seminal vesicle (SV) and ductus deferens smooth muscle. However, until now, only a very few experimental studies have investigated such potential local (peripheral) effects.

Aim.  To elucidate the effects of serotonin (5-HT) and the SRIs clomipramine, fluoxetine and imipramine on the tension induced by norepinephrine (NE) of isolated human SV smooth muscle, as well as on the production of tissue cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP.

Main Outcome Measures.  To measure the inhibition exerted by serotonin and SRIs clomipramine, fluoxetine, and imipramine on the contractile response of isolated SV tissue. In addition, the effects of the drugs on the turn-over of cyclic nucleotides cAMP and cGMP were also elucidated.

Methods.  The effects of the cumulative addition of serotonin and the SRIs clomipramine, fluoxetine and imipramine (1 nM–10 µM) on the tension induced by the alpha1-adrenoceptor agonist NE (10 µM) of SV strip preparations were studied using the organ bath technique. Cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP were measured by means of specific radioimmunoassays.

Results.  The tension induced by NE was dose-dependently reversed by the drugs tested. The rank order of efficacy was: imipramine ≥ fluoxetine ≥ clomipramine > serotonin. Mean reversion of tension was measured between 66 ± 6.6% and 52 ± 6.6%. These effects were paralleled by a 1.3-fold to 2.7-fold increase in tissue cAMP in response to exposure to the drugs. In contrast, no significant enhancement in cGMP was noted.

Conclusions.  The findings, for the first time, present evidence that SRIs may antagonize the sympathetic contraction of SV smooth muscle via stimulation of tissue cyclic AMP. Birowo P, Ückert S, Kedia GT, Scheller F, Meyer M, Taher A, Rahardjo D, Jonas U, and Kuczyk MA. Evaluating the role of the serotoninergic system in the control of human seminal vesicle smooth muscle—An in vitro approach. J Sex Med 2009;6:2672–2679.