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Int J Impot Res. 1993 Sep;5(3):149-60.

Ultrastructural analysis of the cavernous and dorsal penile nerves in experimental diabetes.

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  • 1Fidia Research Laboratories, Padua, Italy.

Abstract

The present study was designed to investigate whether experimental diabetes determines structural changes in peripheral nerves involved in reflexogenic erection, namely the cavernous and the dorsal nerve of the penis. Myelinated axons were examined in the dorsal nerve of the penis from rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes (3- and 6-month duration). Morphometric analysis disclosed a significant decrease of myelinated fibre size most likely due to a progressive axonal atrophy. In addition, morphological analysis revealed diffuse accumulation of glycogen within axons, lipid droplets in Schwann cells and pronounced sequestration of axoplasm by adaxonal Schwann cell processes. These signs were particularly prominent in 6-month-diabetic rats. Myelinated and unmyelinated axons of the cavernous nerve were analysed in 6-month-diabetic animals. No substantial ultrastructural abnormalities were found in the cavernous nerves. These results suggest that in experimental diabetes regionally specific structural changes occur in neuronal pathways subserving erectile function.

PMID:
8124433
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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