Oxidative Stress in Hypertension Associated ED

Approximately 30% of male hypertensive patients have ED [ 66]. Despite many epidemiologic studies showing the link between hypertension and ED, scientific studies establishing the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hypertension-associated ED are sparse.

Angiotensin II is a potent vasoconstrictor implicated in the development and maintenance of hypertension. Within the vascular wall, angiotensin II acting through the angiotensin I (AT1) receptor stimulates the production of ROS by activation of NADPH oxidase [67]. The corpus cavernosum of hypertensive rats exhibits increased lipid peroxidation [68-70]. Protein expressions of NADPH oxidase sub-units p47phox [71] and gp91phox [70] are upregulated in hypertensive rat penis in parallel with increased oxidative stress and ED. Furthermore, apocynin, an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase, reduces oxidative stress and improves erectile function in hypertensive rats [71][ implying a major role for NADPH oxidase in ROS production.

More studies are needed to delineate the mechanisms of ROS upregulation and ROS targets in the penis in hypertension-associated ED.

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