In recent years, a significant body of experimental evidence has accumulated implicating nitric oxide as the central component of a novel signal transduction system that functions in the penis to mediate penile erection. The involvement of nitric oxide in erection physiology appears to be quite complex, involving multiple regulatory interactions: this gaseous molecule has been found to trigger several biochemical events that elicit erectile tissue responses, while a host of modulatory factors have been identified that influence its release and action in erectile tissue. Ongoing investigations in nitric oxide biology in other organ systems also suggest mechanisms which, while yet to be fully established in the penis, may operate significantly to determine the role of nitric oxide in this organ. Further elucidation of cellular and molecular interactions involving nitric oxide effects in the penis can be expected to reveal diverse targets that may serve as a basis for novel pharmacotherapeutic strategies for the future management of erectile dysfunction. (C) 2000 Prous Science.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)