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Beyond the little blue pill: Compound developed that may treat priapism

Date:
September 30, 2013
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
It's not the little blue pill famous for helping men get big results, but the outcome might be more significant. New research offers hope for priapism, which causes erections lasting so long that they cause permanent damage. The compound, "C6'" offered mice relief by normalizing nitric oxide levels in penile blood. The action of C6' also provides insight for future research related to vascular and circulatory disorders.

Priapism is a serious condition, which is often seen in men with sickle cell disease.
Credit: milosducati / Fotolia

It's not the little blue pill famous for helping men get big results, but for those who need it, the outcome might be even more significant. A new research report published online in The FASEB Journal, offers hope to men who experience priapism. This condition, which is often seen in men with sickle cell disease, causes erections lasting so long that they cause permanent damage to the penis. Specifically, a compound, called "C6'" offered mice -- with and without sickle cell disease -- relief by normalizing nitric oxide levels in penile blood. In addition to helping men with priapism, this action of this compound also provides insight for future research related to vascular and circulatory disorders such as hypertension.

"This study has implications for quality of life by suggesting the possible role of a drug therapy for controlled, physiologic release of nitric oxide that may treat conditions of altered nitric oxide signaling or function," said Gwen Lagoda, M.S., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Urology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, in Baltimore, Maryland. "Its application may extend beyond erection disorders and include other health conditions involving abnormal circulation and blood flow."

Scientists analyzed two groups of experimental mice. The first group had both endothelial and neuronal nitric oxide synthase knocked out. The second group of mice had sickle cell disease. In both groups of mice, nitric oxide signaling was known to be abnormal and resulted in abnormal erections. When these mice were given C6' treatment, their molecular abnormalities were reduced and erectile functioning returned to levels similar to normal mice.

"Thanks to massive advertising, when people think of 'E.D.,' they often think of an inability to achieve or maintain an erection," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "What they don't realize is that there can be other problems as well. Priapism is a dangerous and painful form of erectile dysfunction that is overlooked. Hopefully this compound will be just as effective in people as it was in mice."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. G. Lagoda, S. F. Sezen, K. J. Hurt, M. R. Cabrini, D. K. Mohanty, A. L. Burnett. Sustained nitric oxide (NO)-releasing compound reverses dysregulated NO signal transduction in priapism. The FASEB Journal, 2013; DOI: 10.1096/fj.13-228817

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Beyond the little blue pill: Compound developed that may treat priapism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930093856.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2013, September 30). Beyond the little blue pill: Compound developed that may treat priapism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930093856.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Beyond the little blue pill: Compound developed that may treat priapism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930093856.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

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