Stimulation of the medial preoptic area of the hypothalamus in the rat elicits increases in intracavernous pressure

Neurosci Lett. 1996 May 3;209(1):1-4. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(96)12594-5.


Penile erection can be elicited by various stimuli integrated in the spinal cord and/or higher central nervous structures. The medial preoptic area (MPOA) of the hypothalamus is known to play a key role in the regulation of the male sexual behavior. In anesthetized male rats we performed MPOA stimulation via stereotaxically implanted electrodes or canulae delivering L-glutamate. An erectile response, assessed by an increase of intracavernous pressure (ICP), was recorded during electrical stimulation of the MPOA. Stimulating the posterior region of the MPOA elicited a greater erectile response than stimulation applied to the anterior region. Microinjections of L-glutamate also elicited an ICP increase. Stimulation of MPOA neurons therefore elicits activation of neural pathways controlling penile erection.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Glutamic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Glutamic Acid / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Microinjections
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Penile Erection*
  • Penis / physiology*
  • Preoptic Area / drug effects
  • Preoptic Area / physiology*
  • Pressure
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal
  • Stereotaxic Techniques


  • Glutamic Acid