Introduction: Curcumin is an inducer of heme oxygenase enzyme-1 (HO-1) that is involved in erectile signaling via elevating cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)levels.
Aim: To assess the effect of oral administration of a water-soluble long-acting curcumin derivative on erectile signaling.
Methods: Two hundred and thirty six male white albino rats were divided into four groups; group 1 (N = 20) includes control. Group 2 (N = 72) was equally divided into four subgroups; subgroup 1 received pure curcumin (10 mg/kg), subgroup 2 received the long-acting curcumin derivative (2 mg/kg), subgroup 3 received the long-acting curcumin derivative (10 mg/kg), and subgroup 4 received sildenafil (4 mg/kg). Subgroups were sacrificed after the first, second, and third hour. Group 3 (N = 72) was equally divided into the same four subgroups already mentioned and were sacrificed after 24 hours, 48 hours, and 1 week. Group 4 (N = 72) was subjected to intracavernosal pressure (ICP) measurements 1 hour following oral administration of the same previous doses in the same rat subgroups.
Main outcome measure: Cavernous tissue HO enzyme activity, cGMP, and ICP.
Results: In group 2, there was a significant progressive maintained elevation of HO activity and cGMP tissue levels starting from the first hour in subgroups 3 and 4, whereas, the rise in HO activity and cGMP started from second hour regarding the other rat subgroups. Sildenafil effect decreased after 3 hours. In group 3, there was a significant maintained elevation of HO activity and cGMP tissue levels extended to 1 week as compared to controls for all rat subgroups that received both forms of curcumin. In group 4, long-acting curcumin derivative exhibited more significant potentiation of intracavernosal pressure as compared to control and to the pure curcumin.
Conclusion: Water-soluble long-acting curcumin derivative could mediate erectile function via upregulating cavernous tissue cGMP.
© 2009 International Society for Sexual Medicine.