Restraint stress impairs erectile responses in rats.

Bal E., Murat N., Dimir O., Soner B. C., Can E., Gidener S., ...More

The Tohoku journal of experimental medicine, vol.217, no.3, pp.239-42, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 217 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1620/tjem.217.239
  • Journal Name: The Tohoku journal of experimental medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.239-42
  • Keywords: Erectile Dysfunction, Restraint Stress, Intracavernosal Pressure, Rat, In vivo, PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS, SEXUAL-BEHAVIOR, DYSFUNCTION, MODEL, INHIBITOR
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


It has been established that various forms of physical and psychological stress reduce sexual functions. However, there is no study yet evaluating the functional changes over cavernosal pressure in rats exposed to restraint stress. In this study, we aimed to investigate the convenience of the restraint stress model that may be used to determine the disruptive effects of stress on erectile function. Sprague Dawley rats were randomized into two groups as control (n = 7) and stress (n = 7) groups. In the stress group, rats were placed for 60 minutes in a cylindrical plastic tube with holes for fresh air supply (restraint stress). Following the stress application, several parameters for erectile responses were evaluated immediately. The control animals were maintained at room temperature without any procedure until the measurement. During the electrical stimulation of cavernous nerve, we measured the intracavernous pressure (ICP), the ratio of ICP to the mean arterial pressure (MAP), and detumescence time. There were significant decreases in ICP (24.4 +/- 4.1 vs 53.4 +/- 4.5 mmHg, p < 0.01), ICP/MAP (34.4 +/- 7.8% vs 55.7 +/- 3.9%, p < 0.05), and detumescence time (31.7 +/- 6.1 vs 78.6 +/- 12.8 sec, p < 0.01) in stress group when compared to control group. Thus, restraint stress declined detumescence time and decreased intracavernosal pressure in male rats. In conclusion, restraint stress model in rats may be useful for determining the effects of stress on erectile response. Even a short-term restraint stress may cause erectile dysfunction.