A novel flavonoid derivative of icariside II improves erectile dysfunction in a rat model of cavernous nerve injury

Andrology. 2021 Jun 9. doi: 10.1111/andr.13065. Online ahead of print.


Background: Icariside II (ICA II), an active flavonoid monomer, has been proven to restore post-prostatectomy erectile dysfunction in rats; however, the high cost of extraction from natural plants limits the application of ICA II.

Objective: To investigate the therapeutic effect and possible mechanism of action of YS-10, a new flavonoid compound, which was designed and synthesized based on the structure of ICA II in a rat model in of cavernous nerve injury.

Materials/methods: Eight of 32 adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were selected as the normal control (NC) group and received vehicle treatment. The remaining rats were subjected to bilateral cavernous nerve injury (BCNI) and randomized into three groups: BCNI group, BCNI + ICA II group (2.5 mg/kg/day), and BCNI + YS-10 group (2.5 mg/kg/day). The total procedure lasted for 21 days, followed by a washout period of 3 days. All animals were evaluated for erectile function, and tissues were harvested for histopathological analyses.

Results: It was observed that in YS-10 group, the ratio of intracavernous pressure (ICP) to mean arterial pressure (MAP) and the area under the ICP/MAP curve were effectively enhanced. The maximum ICP/MAP increased by 30% in the YS-10 group (0.86 ± 0.085) compared with the BCNI group (0.66 ± 0.058), which is close to 82% of the NC group (1.05 ± 0.033). Histopathological changes demonstrated significant reduction of smooth muscle atrophy, collagen deposition, and endothelial and neural dysfunction after YS-10 treatment, which have no statistical differences compared with ICA II group. Additionally, high-protein expression levels of β-Catenin and cyclin D1 were observed in the treatment groups.

Conclusion: YS-10, a novel synthesized flavonoid compound, could effectively improve erectile dysfunction in rats after BCNI by alleviating pathological impairments; this effect may associate with the upregulation of β-Catenin and cyclin D1 in Wnt signaling pathway.

Keywords: Icariside II; cavernous nerve injury; erectile dysfunction; flavonoid.