Molecular mechanisms associated with diabetic endothelial—erectile dysfunction

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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common complication of diabetes, affecting up to 75% of all diabetic men. Although the aetiology of diabetic ED is multifactorial, endothelial dysfunction is recognized as a mainstay in the pathophysiology of the disease. Endothelial dysfunction is induced by the detrimental actions of high glucose levels and increased oxidative stress on endothelial cells that make up the vascular lining. Besides directly injuring the endothelium, diabetes might also hamper vascular repair mechanisms of angiogenesis and vasculogenesis. These states exacerbate and maintain endothelial dysfunction, impairing vasorelaxation events and cavernosal blood perfusion, which are crucial for normal erectile function.

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