Endogenous Antioxidants in the Penis in ED

Endothelial and smooth muscle cells of the rat penis contain antioxidants such as SOD3 [37,46,113,114], catalase [115], reduced glutathione [38, 65], and glutathione peroxidase [116] . 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 [38]. although extracellular SOD protein and RNA expressions and SOD activity remain unchanged [37]. The diabetic penis exhibits decreased mRNA expression for catalase [118], while glutathione levels were reportedly decreased [47] or increased [42]. Similarly, while mRNA expression of SOD2 is decreased in the diabetic rat penis [118], SOD activity remains unchanged [46] . 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 [119]. These studies demonstrate that information regarding antioxidant status in the penis in association with ED is scarce and inconclusive.

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