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Int Urol Nephrol. 2013 Apr;45(2):429-38. doi: 10.1007/s11255-012-0342-6. Epub 2013 Jan 5.

The influence of ethanol intake on RhoA/Rho kinase signaling pathway in corpus cavernosum of OLETF rats.

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Department of Urology, Seoul St.Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul 137-701, Republic of Korea.



To investigate the effect of the ethanol on corpus cavernosum of the type 2 diabetes mellitus (type 2 DM) rat, since previous studies have reported the positive effect of moderate drinking on type 2 DM and endothelial function.


Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF, n = 28) and Long Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO, n = 28) male rats were assigned to four groups: control (LETO, n = 14), control/ethanol (LETO with ethanol, n = 14), fatty (OLETF, n = 14) and fatty/ethanol (OLETF with ethanol, n = 14). The control/ethanol and fatty/ethanol groups were fed Lieber-DeCarli Regular EtOH. After 10 weeks, an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT) was performed. RT-PCR and Western blot analyses of the RhoA/Rho kinase in the corpus cavernosum were performed. The expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the corpus cavernosum was evaluated by immunohistochemistry.


After a 10-week ethanol intake, the body weight and the IPGTT of the fatty/ethanol group were significantly lower compared with the fatty group (p < 0.05). A significantly increased mRNA and protein expression in the fatty group was observed compared with the control group by RT-PCR and Western blot analyses (p < 0.05): A significantly decreased expression was observed in the fatty/ethanol group compared with the fatty group (p < 0.05). The significantly increased expression of eNOS was observed in the fatty/ethanol group compared with the fatty group by immunohistochemistry.


Long-term ethanol intake may preserve the erectile function in type 2 DM through the down-regulation of the RhoA/Rho kinase pathway.

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