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J Androl. 2009 Jul-Aug;30(4):363-9. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.108.006007. Epub 2008 Sep 18.

Androgens play a pivotal role in maintaining penile tissue architecture and erection: a review.

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  • Department of Biochemistry, Institute for Sexual Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Center for Advanced Biomedical Research, 700 Albany St, W607, Boston, MA 02118, USA. atraish@bu.edu

Abstract

Androgens are essential for development, growth, and maintenance of penile structure, and regulate erectile physiology by multiple mechanisms. Here we provide a concise overview of the basic research findings pertaining to androgen modulation of erectile tissue architecture and physiology. A significant body of evidence exists pointing to a critical role of androgens in erectile physiology. Studies in animal models have provided fundamental knowledge on the role of androgens in modulating tissue architecture and cellular, molecular, and physiological mechanisms. Based on data from our laboratory and those reported by others, we believe that androgens play a pivotal role in maintaining the structure and function of the peripheral penile nerve network, the structural integrity of the corpora cavernosa, the tunica albuginea, and the endothelium of the cavernous spaces. Further, androgens play an important role in regulating the differentiation of precursor cells into trabecular smooth muscle. In this review, we will focus our discussion on findings pertaining to the role of androgens in regulating penile tissue architectural elements in modulating penile function. This knowledge has a profound impact on the potential use of androgens in the clinical setting to treat patients with erectile dysfunction.

PMID:
18802199
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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