Preservation of Erectile Function by Statins in a Rat Model of Erectile Dysfunction Induced by Hypercholesterolemia

Main Article Content

Bong Hee Park
Dong Seok Han
Seung Mo Yuk
Chang Shik Youn
Eun Bi Kwon
Ki Cheol Park
Hoon Jang


erectile dysfunction, hypercholesterolemia, statin


Background and objective
To assess the effects of hypercholesterolemia (HC) on the quality of erections and to evaluate the effects of stain therapy in a rat model of erectile dysfunction (ED) induced by HC.

Material and methods
Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups (n=12 in each): control, HC, and HC with simvastatin treatment (HC+SS). The control was fed a normal chow diet, and the HC and HC+SS were fed a high-fat and high-cholesterol diet for 12 weeks. The HC+SS received simvastatin once daily via oral gavage for 12 weeks. Subsequently, the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT), intra-cavernous pressure and mean arterial pressure, lipid profiles, expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), oxidative stress (8-hydroxy-2-deoxygua-nosine, 8-OHdG level), serum testosterone levels, and the ratio of collagen fibers (CF) and smooth muscle (SM) were evaluated in the serum and corpora tissue.

IPGTT was not different among all groups. The HC showed markedly lower erectile parameters than the control. In contrast, the HC+SS showed preserved erectile function, improved lipid profiles, increased eNOS and nNOS, decreased oxidative stress, and minimized change in SM/CF ratio.

Our results suggest that oxidative stress damage by HC may cause ED and that statin therapy may have beneficial effects on preserving erectile function by improving lipid profiles and minimizing dam-age caused by oxidative stress.


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