OBJECTIVE: To assess the accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rat cavernosal tissue, and to determine whether the protective effect of aminoguanidine (AG) on erectile function is related to the timing of treatment, as the accumulation of AGEs in the penis may be important in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus-induced erectile dysfunction, and prolonged treatment with AG (a selective AGE inhibitor), prevents erectile dysfunction in this situation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into groups 1-4, i.e. age-matched controls; STZ diabetic rats (60 mg/kg intraperitoneal) given free access to water; STZ diabetic rats treated with AG (1 g/L per day in the drinking water) immediately after inducing diabetes; and STZ-diabetic rats treated with AG 1 month after inducing diabetes, respectively. Two months after inducing diabetes the intracavernosal pressure was measured after cavernosal nerve stimulation, and cavernosal AGE (5-hydroxy methyl furfural, 5-HMF) levels assessed. RESULTS: Cavernosal tissue 5-HMF levels from groups 2 and 4 were significantly higher than in group 1 (control). The expression of 5-HMF in group 3 was similar to that in group 1. Diabetic rats had significantly lower erectile function than controls, while groups 3 and 4 (treated with AG) had normal erectile function, as measured by cavernosal nerve stimulation. CONCLUSIONS: The effect of AG on AGE levels seems to be time-dependent; that the 1-month treatment with AG improved erectile function with no change in AGEs suggests that AG has protective effects on the penile vasculature through alternative pathways.
- Advanced glycation end products
- Diabetes mellitus
- Erectile dysfunction
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