Novel Water-soluble Curcumin Derivative Mediating Erectile Signaling


Hanan Fouad, MD, Medical Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, POB 11562, Cairo, Egypt. Tel: 202 23632297; Fax: 202 23632297; E-mail:


Introduction.  Curcumin is an inducer of heme oxygenase enzyme-1 (HO-1) that is involved in erectile signaling via elevating cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)levels.

Aim.  To assess the effect of oral administration of a water-soluble long-acting curcumin derivative on erectile signaling.

Methods.  Two hundred and thirty six male white albino rats were divided into four groups; group 1 (N = 20) includes control. Group 2 (N = 72) was equally divided into four subgroups; subgroup 1 received pure curcumin (10 mg/kg), subgroup 2 received the long-acting curcumin derivative (2 mg/kg), subgroup 3 received the long-acting curcumin derivative (10 mg/kg), and subgroup 4 received sildenafil (4 mg/kg). Subgroups were sacrificed after the first, second, and third hour. Group 3 (N = 72) was equally divided into the same four subgroups already mentioned and were sacrificed after 24 hours, 48 hours, and 1 week. Group 4 (N = 72) was subjected to intracavernosal pressure (ICP) measurements 1 hour following oral administration of the same previous doses in the same rat subgroups.

Main Outcome Measure.  Cavernous tissue HO enzyme activity, cGMP, and ICP.

Results.  In group 2, there was a significant progressive maintained elevation of HO activity and cGMP tissue levels starting from the first hour in subgroups 3 and 4, whereas, the rise in HO activity and cGMP started from second hour regarding the other rat subgroups. Sildenafil effect decreased after 3 hours. In group 3, there was a significant maintained elevation of HO activity and cGMP tissue levels extended to 1 week as compared to controls for all rat subgroups that received both forms of curcumin. In group 4, long-acting curcumin derivative exhibited more significant potentiation of intracavernosal pressure as compared to control and to the pure curcumin.

Conclusion.  Water-soluble long-acting curcumin derivative could mediate erectile function via upregulating cavernous tissue cGMP. Abdel Aziz MT, El Asmer MF, Rezq A, Kumosani TA, Mostafa S, Mostafa T, Atta H, Abdel Aziz Wassef M, Fouad HH, Rashed L, Sabry D, Hassouna AA, Senbel A, and Abdel Aziz A. Novel water-soluble curcumin derivative mediating erectile signaling. J Sex Med 2010;7:2714–2722.