Secondhand Smoke Leads to Erectile Dysfunction in Mice

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Secondhand smoke reduces erectile function in mice, but the effects can be reversed by treatment with sildenafil, researchers report in the February issue of the Journal of Urology.

Trinity J. Bivalacqua, M.D., Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the effect of short-term secondhand smoke (five hours a day, five days a week for three weeks) and sildenafil treatment (100 mg/kg per day) on erectile function in mice.

The researchers observed that secondhand smoke reduced erectile function in exposed mice. Penises from these mice had increased generation of reactive oxygen species and nitrotyrosine, reduced activity of constitutive nitric oxide synthase, and increased activity of inducible nitric oxide synthase, the investigators found. Sildenafil treatment reversed these effects of secondhand smoke and improved erectile function, the report indicates.

"Short-term exposure to secondhand smoke impairs erectile function through excessive penile reactive oxygen species signaling and inducible nitric oxide synthase activity," Bivalacqua and colleagues conclude. "Sildenafil therapy restored nitric oxide synthase activity and decreased reactive oxygen species signaling, resulting in improved erectile function."

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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