Interaction between nitric oxide and dopaminergic transmission in the peripheral control of penile erection. (2011)

COMMENTS: Erections involve activation of D1 receptors on penile tissue.



Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt. [email protected]


As the peripheral role of dopamine in the mediation of penile erection was recently identified, its potential role in the modulation of NO action and whether D1 or D2 receptors are involved in this potential modulation was investigated. The isolated rabbit corpus cavernosum and measurement of intracavernosal pressure in the anesthetized rat model were used. The selective D1 antagonist SCH23390 but not the D2 antagonist sulpiride reduced the inhibitory effect of N(G)-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA) and the potentiatory effect of sildenafil on erectile responses. L-NNA did not change the inhibitory effect of SCH23390 or the potentiatory effect of apomorphine but enhanced the effect of high-dose fenoldopam on intracavernosal pressure. Similarly, fenoldopam produced 47.30 ± 6.89% potentiation of relaxation of corpus cavernosum in absence of L-NNA and 80 ± 9.34% potentiation in its presence at 3 Hz. The effect of sildenafil was greatly reduced by pretreatment with SCH23390 or sulpiride and completely abolished by their combination. This study supports the role played by D1 receptors peripherally in the control of penile erection. Absence of NO may potentiate the effect of D1 receptor on erection. Activation of D1 receptors may be involved in the synthesis of NO in the corpus cavernosum or may activate the role of NO in erection.

© 2010 The Author Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology © 2010 Société Française de Pharmacologie et de Thérapeutique.