Nitric oxide donors induce penile erection and yawning when injected in the central nervous system of male rats

Eur J Pharmacol. 1995 Dec 27;294(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/0014-2999(95)00508-0.

Abstract

In order to provide further support for a role of central nitric oxide as a mediator of penile erection and yawning, the nitric oxide donors sodium nitroprusside, hydroxylamine, isoamyl nitrite and S-nitroso-N-acetyl-penicillamine were injected into the lateral ventricles (i.c.v.) or into the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus of male rats. Of the above compounds injected i.c.v., only isoamyl nitrite (10-100 micrograms) induced penile erection and yawning, while the others induced dramatic behavioral changes, such as motor hyperactivity and convulsions, that masked the above responses. Nevertheless, nitric oxide donors in doses ranging from 10 to 50 micrograms, for except S-nitroso-N-acetyl-penicillamine that was injected only at the dose of 10 micrograms and isoamyl nitrite that was not injected at all because of poor solubility, induced penile erection and yawning when injected in the paraventricular nucleus. Nitric oxide donor-induced responses were prevented by methylene blue and LY 83583, inhibitors of guanylate cyclase, the best known target of nitric oxide, given i.c.v. but not in the paraventricular nucleus. However, 8-bromo-guanosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-Br-cGMP), a stable cGMP analog, and hemoglobin, a nitric oxide scavenger, were ineffective in inducing and preventing, respectively, penile erection and yawning when injected either i.c.v. or in the paraventricular nucleus. Nitric oxide donor-induced responses were also prevented by the nonapeptide oxytocin receptor antagonist d(CH2)5-Tyr(Me)-Orn8-vasotocin given i.c.v. but not in the paraventricular nucleus. The present results suggest that nitric oxide donors induce penile erection and yawning by activating central oxytocinergic transmission in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus via a cGMP-independent mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Cyclic GMP / analogs & derivatives
  • Cyclic GMP / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Guanylate Cyclase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Guanylate Cyclase / metabolism
  • Hemoglobins / pharmacology
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology*
  • Oxytocin / analogs & derivatives
  • Oxytocin / pharmacology
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / physiology
  • Penile Erection / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Oxytocin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Yawning / drug effects*

Substances

  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Hemoglobins
  • Receptors, Oxytocin
  • 8-bromocyclic GMP
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Oxytocin
  • oxytocin,1-(beta-mercapto-(beta, beta-cyclopentamethylene)propionic acid)-Tyr(OMe)(2)-Orn(8)-
  • Guanylate Cyclase
  • Cyclic GMP