Introduction

The pathophysiology of erectile dysfunction (ED) refers to the derangement of the normal erectile response, which involves neurological and vascular processes resulting in relaxation of the smooth muscles in the penis and penile erection. It is increasingly evident that oxidative stress, an imbalance between the production and

Department of Urology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore,

MD 21287, USA

e-mail: [email protected]

A. Agarwal et al. (eds.), Studies on Men's Health and Fertility, Oxidative Stress 617

in Applied Basic Research and Clinical Practice, DOI 10.1007/978-1-61779-776-7_28, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

elimination of reactive oxygen species (ROS), plays an important role in the pathogenesis of vasculogenic and neurogenic ED associated with aging and diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, and atherosclerosis. The objective of this chapter is to provide an understanding of the known mechanisms that link oxidative stress and ED.

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