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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2019 Apr;236(4):1293-1301. doi: 10.1007/s00213-018-5141-z. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

Neuronal nitric oxide synthase activity mediates Lycium barbarum polysaccharides-enhanced sexual performance without stimulating noncontact erection in rats.

Author information

1
Institute of Traditional Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.
2
Department of Urology, Taipei City Hospital Ren-Ai Branch, Taipei, Taiwan.
3
Department of Physical Therapy, Hung Kuang University, No. 1018, Sec. 6, Taiwan Boulevard, Shalu District, Taichung, 43302, Taiwan.
4
Ceramics and Biomaterials Research Group, Advanced Institute of Materials Science, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
5
Faculty of Applied Sciences, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
6
Department of Nursing, Ching Kuo Institute of Management and Health, Keelung, Taiwan.
7
Department of Chemical Engineering, National United University, Miaoli, Taiwan.
8
Department of Physical Therapy, Hung Kuang University, No. 1018, Sec. 6, Taiwan Boulevard, Shalu District, Taichung, 43302, Taiwan. d93441003@ntu.edu.tw.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Lycium barbarum polysaccharide (LBP) is known to promote reproductive functions. However, its role in noncontact erection (NCE) of penis initiated by brain regions including medial preoptic area (MPOA) and paraventricular nucleus (PVN) regions responsible for sexual behavior has not been investigated.

OBJECTIVES:

Therefore, this study initially investigated the effects of LBP on male sexual function, and subsequently, the mechanistic insight was investigated through assessing the expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the MPOA and PVN.

METHODS:

The adult male rats were treated with 100 mg/kg of LBP or vehicle by oral gavage. Before and after 14 days of treatment, copulatory behavior and noncontact erection (NCE) were recorded. After the last behavioral test, the brain was isolated to measure nNOS expression in the MPOA and PVN.

RESULTS:

Data showed that LBP treatment significantly increased both the frequencies of intromission as well as ejaculation, compared to the control group. Whereas, a reduced post-ejaculatory interval was observed compared to same group on day 0. Furthermore, the treatment led to an increased intromission ratio, inter-intromission interval, and the number of MPOA nNOS-immunoreactive cells (nNOS-ir). Additionally, a significantly positive correlation between ejaculation frequency and MPOA nNOS-ir cells was recorded. Of note, LBP treatment had no effects on NCE and PVN nNOS-ir expression.

CONCLUSION:

These findings suggest that LBP enhances sexual behavior through increased nNOS expression in the MPOA in male rats.

KEYWORDS:

Lycium barbarum polysaccharide; Medial preoptic area; Noncontact erection; Paraventricular nucleus; Sexual behavior; nNOS

PMID:
30539267
DOI:
10.1007/s00213-018-5141-z

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