Restorative effects of zinc and selenium on nitrergic relaxations impaired by cadmium in the mouse corpus cavernosum

Toxicol Lett. 2000 Jan 5;111(3):229-34. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4274(99)00182-4.


We investigated whether Cd2+ intake (in drinking water, 15 ppm) for 30 days can affect the nitrergic relaxations of the mouse corpus cavernosum (CC) and whether Zn2+ (25 mg kg(-1) via a stomach tube at 48-h intervals) or sodium selenate (8 microg kg(-1) day(-1) intraperitoneally) has a restorative action on the impairment in the response. Relaxant responses of the CC obtained from Cd2+-treated mice to electrical field stimulation (neurogenic) or acetylcholine (endothelium dependent) were significantly inhibited. A partial restoration was observed in the nitrergic relaxation of the CC obtained from Zn2+- or sodium selenate-co-treated animals. Neither agent exhibited any significant action on the responses of the tissue from control mice. There was no significant difference between Cd2+-treated and control mice in respect of the relaxation amplitude induced by sodium nitroprusside or papaverine. These results suggest that Cd2+ intake may impair the nitrergic relaxation of the mouse CC, and, co-treatment with Zn2+ or sodium selenate may partially improve the nitrergic mechanisms in the tissue.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cadmium / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cadmium / toxicity*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Muscle Relaxation / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth / drug effects*
  • Nitric Oxide Donors / pharmacology*
  • Nitroprusside / pharmacology
  • Papaverine / pharmacology
  • Penis / drug effects*
  • Phenylephrine / pharmacology
  • Selenium / pharmacology*
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology
  • Zinc / pharmacology*


  • Nitric Oxide Donors
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Cadmium
  • Nitroprusside
  • Phenylephrine
  • Papaverine
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Acetylcholine