Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.298, No.3, 427-432, 2002
Adeno-associated viral gene transfer of dominant negative RhoA enhances erectile function in rats
We previously reported the inhibition of Rho-kinase to result in increased intracavernosal pressure (ICP) in an in vivo rat model of erection. Expression of an upstream activator of Rho-kinase, RhoA, has been demonstrated in the penile vasculature; however, the functional role of RhoA in the regulation of erection remains unknown. We used adeno-associated viral gene transfer of a dominant negative RhoA mutant (T19NRhoA) into rat cavernosum to test the hypothesis that RhoA activation is physiologically important for maintenance of the non-erect state and inhibition of this pathway leads to erection. Anesthetized, male, Sprague-Dawley rats transfected with the T19NRhoA mutant exhibited an elevated baseline ICP/mean arterial pressure (MAP) and nerve stimulation-induced ICP/MAP as compared with beta-galactosidase-transfected controls. The novel findings of this study demonstrate a functional role of RhoA in maintaining the flaccid penis and provide support for the inhibition of RhoA as a potential therapy for the enhancement of erectile function. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.