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Eur Urol. 1994;25(1):62-70.

Rat model for the study of penile erection: pharmacologic and electrical-stimulation parameters.

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Department of Urology, University of California Medical School, San Francisco.


We report the use of a modified rat model for the study of the mechanisms of penile erection. In 92 Sprague-Dawley rats, the cavernous nerve was stimulated with different pulse intensities and frequencies, and the intracavernous pressure, time to maximal pressure and total duration of tumescence were measured. A maximal response was elicited at 20 pulses per second (pps) and 1.5 mA. Using this as 100%, we determined the relative pressure responses obtained with other frequencies: 5 pps, 57.3% (p = 0.007), 10 pps, 84.9% (p = 0.043); 30 pps, 99.5% (p = 0.832); 40 pps, 97.8% (p = 0.168); 50 pps, 90.9% (p = 0.021); 100 pps, 76.1% (p < 0.001). The time to maximal pressure varied with different frequencies, but was in all cases significantly different from the 20-pps response. Erection time during continuous cavernous nerve stimulation was significantly longer with frequencies below 20 pps (10 and 5 pps). In 30 rats, the physiologic response to intracavernous injection (0.03 ml) of acetylcholine, atropine, guanethidine, norepinephrine, phenylephrine, papaverine, terbutaline (intravenous also) and phentolamine was measured. Papaverine caused a dose-dependent rise in pressure; acetylcholine, atropine (a parasympathetic blocking agent) and guanethidine all had minimal effects. Phentolamine and norepinephrine increased systemic blood pressure, whereas phenylephrine decreased the intracavernous pressure in response to electrostimulation significantly.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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