Anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects of annexin1 on erectile function after cavernous nerve injury in rats

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The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic actions of ANX1 on erectile function (EF). Forty-eight male Wistar rats were randomly distributed into four equal groups: one group (sham operation—control) and three groups (bilateral cavernous nerve (CN) crush injury). Crush injury groups were treated prior to injury with an intravascular injection of either ANX1 (50 or 100 μg kg−1) or vehicle. EF was assessed by CN electrical stimulation at 2 and 7 days after CN injury with histomorphometric and immunohistochemical analysis. ANX1 demonstrated functional preservation as the increase in intracavernous pressure (ICP). A dose-response relationship regarding the effect on penile tissue was confirmed, and preservation of the penile dorsal nerves and anti-apoptotic effects in the corpus cavernosum (real P-value vs injured control). ANX1 treatment prevented collagen deposition and smooth muscle loss in the penis. ANX1 normalized the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and decreased tumor necrosis factor-α in the lumen of the blood vessels of the organ. ANX1 proved effective in preserving EF in a rat model of neurogenic erectile dysfunction. ANX1 treatment before CN injury in rats improved erectile recovery, enhanced vascular regeneration and preserved the micro-architecture of the corpus cavernosum. The clinical availability of this compound merits application in penile rehabilitation studies following radical prostatectomy.

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