Introduction. Radical prostatectomy is the treatment of choice for prostate cancer patients. Despite the introduction of nerve-sparing surgical techniques, its success is not entirely guaranteed and the majority of patients report compromised erectile function following surgical procedures.
Aim. This study was performed to investigate the effect of repeated dosing of udenafil, a novel phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor, on penile hypoxia and fibrosis induced by bilateral cavernous nerve resection (BCNR) in rats.
Methods. Thirty male Sprague-Dawley rats (300–320 g) were used in this study. The animals were divided into three groups; group I consisted of sham-operated animals (N = 10), animals in group II underwent BCNR alone (N = 10), and animals in group III were orally treated with 10 mg/kg udenafil b.i.d. for 8 weeks following BCNR (N = 10).
Main Outcome Measures. The expression of transforming growth factor-β1, hypoxia-inducible factor-1α, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, and endothelin B receptor in penile tissue was examined at gene level. Additionally, erectile function, measured by intracavernous pressure (ICP), and pathological changes in the corpus cavernosum were examined.
Results. While fibrosis, apoptosis, and the expression of TGF-β1, HIF-1α, and ETB were significantly increased, and the expression of eNOS and nNOS were significantly decreased in group II, compared with the sham-operated animals, repeated dosing of udenafil significantly ameliorated these changes. Erectile function was profoundly impaired in animals that underwent BCNR alone, and udenafil treatment significantly attenuated this impairment as measured by ICP.
Conclusions. These results demonstrate that long-term administration of udenafil ameliorates penile hypoxia and fibrosis induced by cavernous nerve resection. This study also suggests the potential beneficial role of repeated dosing of udenafil in the recovery of erectile function in patients with neuronal erectile dysfunction. Lee C-H, Shin J-H, Ahn G-J, Kang K-K, Ahn B-O, and Yoo M. Udenafil enhances the recovery of erectile function and ameliorates the pathophysiological consequences of cavernous nerve resection. J Sex Med 2010;7:2564–2571.