Endothelial and smooth muscle cells of the rat penis contain antioxidants such as SOD3 [37,46,113,114], catalase , reduced glutathione [38, 65], and glutathione peroxidase  . Cavernosal tissue and blood from men contain vitamin C, albumin, bilirubin, uric acid, and glutathione [42, 117]. Controversial data were, however, obtained regarding the status of endogenous antioxidants in the diseased penis. Penis from aged animals exhibit decreased levels of reduced glutathione but increased cytoplasmic SOD expression . although extracellular SOD protein and RNA expressions and SOD activity remain unchanged . The diabetic penis exhibits decreased mRNA expression for catalase , while glutathione levels were reportedly decreased  or increased . Similarly, while mRNA expression of SOD2 is decreased in the diabetic rat penis , SOD activity remains unchanged  . The corpus cavernosum of hypertensive rats exhibits decreased SOD activity [68-70]. while corpus cavernosal tissue of cholesterol-fed animals exhibits increased SOD activity without changes in the activities of catalase and glutathione peroxidase . These studies demonstrate that information regarding antioxidant status in the penis in association with ED is scarce and inconclusive.
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