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Urology. 2004 Dec;64(6):1250-4.

Effect of excitatory amino acid receptor agonists on penile erection after administration into the CA3 hippocampal region in the rat.

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Department of Urology, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



To examine whether hippocampal injection of specific agonists for glutamate ionotropic (NMDA, AMPA) and metabotropic (ACPD) receptors modulates erectile response in adult male rats. The paraventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus and hippocampus are believed to play a role in the central regulation of erectile function.


Four groups of 5 male Sprague-Dawley rats each were anesthetized and placed in a stereotaxic apparatus after carotid artery catheterization for measurement of arterial pressure and insertion of a 25-gauge needle in the corpus cavernosum for measurement of intracavernous pressure (ICP). The rats underwent hippocampal injections of saline (1 muL), NMDA (10 nmol/L), AMPA (10 nmol/L), or ACPD (10 nmol/L) followed by perfusion with saline and 10% formalin solutions. Brain slices 24 mum thick were mounted and stained with cresyl violet to identify the drug injection sites.


Hippocampal injection of glutamate receptor subtype agonists produced multiple episodes of ICP elevation. NMDA injection was associated with a greater maximal ICP increase, duration of action, and mean onset of action latency than AMPA injection. ACPD injection had no statistically significant impact on ICP or arterial pressure changes. Histologic evaluation confirmed the injected sites were the CA3 fields of the hippocampus.


Our results suggest hippocampal glutamate receptors may be involved in initiation of penile erection. Ionotropic receptors appear to play a significant role in these regulatory mechanisms. NMDA receptors appear to be more potent than AMPA receptors, which appear to mediate fast excitatory synaptic transmission.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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