Efficacy of a novel water-soluble curcumin derivative versus sildenafil citrate in mediating erectile function

Int J Impot Res. 2015 Jan-Feb;27(1):9-15. doi: 10.1038/ijir.2014.24. Epub 2014 Aug 7.


The present study was conducted to assess the efficacy of a novel curcumin derivative (NCD) versus sildenafil citrate in erectile signaling. The study was conducted on 10 control male rats and 50 diabetic male rats divided into the following groups: diabetic, curcumin, NCD, sildenafil and NCD combined with sildenafil. Cavernous tissue (CC) gene expression levels of heme oxygenase (HO)-1, Nrf2, NF-κβ and p38, enzyme activities of HO and nitric oxide synthase (NOS), cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and intracavernosal pressure (ICP) were assessed. Results showed that 12 weeks after induction of diabetes, erectile dysfunction was confirmed by the significant decrease in ICP, a significant decrease in cGMP, NOS, HO enzyme activities, a significant decrease in HO-1 gene and a significant elevation of NF-κβ, p38 genes. Administration of all therapeutic interventions led to a significant elevation in ICP, cGMP levels, a significant increase in HO-1 and NOS enzymes, a significant increase in HO-1 and Nrf2 gene expression, and a significant decrease in NF-κβ, p38 gene expression. NCD or its combination with sildenafil showed significant efficacy and more prolonged duration of action. In conclusion, NCD could enhance erectile function with more efficacy and more prolonged duration of action.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage*
  • Curcumin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Curcumin / pharmacokinetics
  • Cyclic GMP / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / etiology
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Heme Oxygenase-1 / genetics
  • Heme Oxygenase-1 / metabolism
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / analysis
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Penis / chemistry
  • Penis / enzymology
  • Penis / innervation
  • Piperazines / administration & dosage*
  • Pressure
  • Purines / administration & dosage
  • Rats
  • Sildenafil Citrate
  • Solubility
  • Sulfonamides / administration & dosage*
  • Water


  • NF-kappa B
  • Piperazines
  • Purines
  • Sulfonamides
  • Water
  • Sildenafil Citrate
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Heme Oxygenase-1
  • Cyclic GMP
  • Curcumin